Man Abandoned, 1996

Angus Fairhurst belonged to a group of artists associated with London’s Goldsmiths College in the late 1980s. He participated in the seminal exhibition, Freeze, in 1988, which introduced the world to a generation who became known as the Young British Artists. This set the tone for contemporary art in the UK over the next two decades. Fairhurst’s work was broad, encompassing sculpture, painting, performance, animation, photography, video, music, printmaking, drawing and collage.

Man Abandoned is a photographic triptych featuring Fairhurst naked, jumping in mid-air with his back to the camera. The images were taken on an empty street in the City of London. Like most of Fairhust’s work, there is a mix of playfulness and absurdity, but also a sense of pathos in these images. The artist is alone and exposed. One can’t tell is if he is jumping for joy or in wild frustration.