Liz Maw: Francis Upritchard
Exhibition dates: 4 December 2010 – 19 February 2011
Opening reception: Friday 3 December 2010, 6pm
Artspace is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition of Liz Maw in a public art gallery. Liz gained national
attention in 2009 for her painting Venus from Hell using local celebrity Nikki Watson as her model. For her show at
Artspace, in a bold and striking move, she has chosen to exhibit just one painting in the vast main gallery. The
painting is a portrait of internationally acclaimed New Zealand born London based artist Francis Upritchard.
The story of Francis Upritchard is that of an ideal art star— beautiful, talented and internationally successful. Maw
has described painting Upritchard as acting like an obsessive fan, “I’m behaving like the protagonist in the film Single
White Female”, as though in depicting Upritchard she can in some sense inhabit or become her.
Liz Maw is an artist, musician and poet. She is known for working on extremely large-scale portraits that blend
hyper-realism with fantasy. She draws on art-historical references and has mastered a traditional painting style
applying it to contemporary subject matter. The symbolism in her work is heightened and intensified, to the point of
kitsch, but despite the ornate quality in her painting there is always at the heart of the works an emotional core. For
Francis Upritchard Liz has kept the painting very simple, stripping back her ornate style. Francis stands before us like
a ghostly pure spirit.
Maw has been included in Mystic Truths, Auckland Art Gallery 2007, Snake Oil: Recent Chartwell Acquisitions, Auckland
Art Gallery, 2005 and Telecom Prospect 2004: New Art New Zealand, City Gallery Wellington 2004. Her work is represented
in several public collections, including the Chartwell Collection and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. She
regularly exhibits at Ivan Anthony and Peter McLeavey Gallery. Her partner is another well-known painter, Andrew McLeod.
Together they share a studio and also play in the art metal band Pseudorobutus.