Leo Fitzmaurice at The Sunday Painter

Artist: Leo Fitzmaurice

Exhibition title: Autosuggestions

Venue: The Sunday Painter, London, UK

Date: February 21 – March 21, 2020

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and The Sunday Painter, London

The Sunday Painter is delighted to present Autosuggestions, Leo Fitzmaurice’s third solo show at the gallery. Fitzmaurice’s practice is grounded in a process of roaming and observation, appropriating existing languages, focusing on the overlooked and the ubiquitous. Autosuggestions is part of the ongoing series of works tilted Autos, which as per many of Fitzmaurice’s sculptures take the form of a single transformation applied to a series of found objects. In this case Fitzmaurice scours his local Liverpool scrapyards to source a generational and global mix of cars, ranging from a 1956 Chevrolet to a 2011 Porsche. Once the cars have been selected, the bonnet, headlights and bumper are cleaved from the rest of the vehicle, followed by the final transformative act of Fitzmaurice removing the mid section of the bonnet and bringing the headlights together.

This deconstruction results in a series of mask like forms that exposes the anthropomorphic tendencies inherent in the original design of these objects. As well as wearing their lived histories, what becomes apparent in their new forms is a range of almost human emotions, ranging from angry, pensive, meek or even mercurial, so ensuring that there will always be one we can relate to. In doing so Fitzmaurice unmoors our conventional relationship with the objects and materials, their original function becoming secondary to the overall transformation.

The exhibition continues Leo Fitzmaurice’s interest in the world we have designed for, and around, ourselves. The show focuses on the essential characteristic of symmetry, both in the objects we design, and our relations to them. But also, by using found and discarded objects, Fitzmaurice situates his work around issues of consumerism and the consequences of mass production on our lives. Previous bodies of works have utilised Coke cans, plastic shopping bags, discarded cigarette packets and advertising flyers, all items with an inherent disposability and unfortunate permanence when it comes to the environment. Clearly the future of the automobile is currently at the centre of this debate, and from a climate perspective due for a radical overhaul, thus lending the Auto’s the status of monuments to future histories.

Leo Fitzmaurice b. 1963 Newport, England. Lives and works in Merseyside.

Solo exhibitions include: Enjoy Civic Life, Humber Street Gallery, Hull, UK, 2020, Between You and Me and Everything Else, The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK, 2018, As Yet, Caustic Coastal, Manchester, UK, 2017, OH V HO, The Sunday Painter, London, UK, 2016, Frieze London Sculpture Park, 2015, /|\, The Sunday Painter, London 2014, Blank Stir, The Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, UK, 2012, You Try to Tell Me But I never Listen, New Art Gallery Walsall, 2011, Sometimes the Things You Touch Come True, Yorkshire Sculpture Park 2007, Neat Stuff , First-site Colchester 2005.

Group exhibitions include Sculpture In the City, London, UK, 2019, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK, 2016, Reader, Gether Contemporary, Copenhagen, 2016, Edit/Undo, Space In Between, London, 2015, Easy Does It (Curated by Kevin Hunt), David Dale Gallery, Glasgow, 2014, Chain Chain Chain (curated by Glenn Adamson), Bischoff Weiss, London, 2012, The way we do art now, curated by Pavel Buchler, Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin, 2010, Flyerssheepflagshelf, Seventeen Gallery, London, 2010. Fitzmaurice was the recipient of the 5th Northern Art Prize in 2012. Fitzmaurice’s work is in the Arts Council Collection of England, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Manchester Art Gallery, The Royal London Hospital (Vital Arts), The Locus Plus Archive and numerous private collections.