About the Artwork

Gorillas emerged as a central motif in Fairhurst’s early drawings and cartoons. This strange and poignant coupling – hulking ape and fish out of water – is from a series of bronze sculptures of gorillas in surreal and tragicomic scenarios. It expresses some of the dichotomies at the heart of Fairhurst’s practice – between the cerebral and the emotional (or “thinking and feeling”), and between the sublime and the absurd. The pairing of an ape – man’s closest relative – with a fish, supposedly his most primeval ancestor, produces a dual sense of the familiar and the alien, the close and the faraway.

Year: 2000

Courtesy of Angus Fairhurst Estate and Sadie Coles HQ, London


cast bronze


210 x 173 x 132 cm

Artist Biography

Angus Fairhurst

Angus Fairhurst (1966-2008) one of the influential members of the group of artists associated with London’s Goldsmiths College in the late 1980s, made work encompassing sculpture, painting, performance, animation, photography, video, music, printmaking, drawing and collage.