Kerlin Gallery is delighted to present OK, Dublin born artist Hannah Fitz’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. In OK, human scale and almost human-like sculptures occupy the gallery. The figures appear to be football players and there is a type of game at play…
Fitz builds a comparable world where action is arrested, colour is drained, light and shadow have form, figures merge as though solid matter is fluid and gravity seems less in control. The ‘players’ perform tricks or jostle for the ball. One slides onto their knees, stripping off its shirt in celebration of a goal; others lounge nearby, dappled by the shade of foliage. Water bottles and footballs share the scene. In this defamiliarised sculptural landscape the life-size occupants come in and out of focus with an awkward grace. All are rendered in the same muted palette of off-white and mushroom grey disrupted occasionally by hand painted patterns that twist and distort form and shadows that rise up from unseen surroundings.
Fitz’s figures are carefully constructed, rejecting sleekness for a finish that is deliberately crude, scrappy and uncertain. Despite this handmade quality, they present a uniform, reductive version of the body, much like the figurines on top of trophies. The directness of Fitz’s representation feels akin to kitsch aesthetics – but if kitsch strives to communicate togetherness and community by clearing away the specific and contentious, Fitz’s sculptures (re)trouble this form of representation by homogenising to a new, alienating extreme. Simple and inexact, painted in a faded, at times monochromatic spectrum, the figures are unidentifiable aside from their actions. Tribalism and representation are integral to football (whether national, club or community) and these sculptures seem to heighten the impersonal aspects of such representation.
Hannah Fitz graduated from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, 2012 and is currently studying at the Stadelschule Frankfurt. Previous solo exhibitions include Knock Knock, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios (2018); In the Light of the Lamp, Gallery Three, Douglas Hyde Gallery and Doggy Eyed Stare, Studio 16, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios (both 2016). Recent group shows include I’M TRYING TO EXPLAIN, L21 Gallery, Mallorca, Spain, 2019, Tail and Heads, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, 2019.