Who is Figgis

Katy Dove, catalogue cover, 2016

Winter 2017: Journal of Writing in Creative Practice: Laurence Figgis will contribute a new piece of fictional writing to a special edition guest-edited by Susannah Thompson and Laura Edbrook

October 2016: Katy Dove: Laurence Figgis contributed a piece of writing to a new monograph on Dove’s animations and drawings published to accompany a memorial exhibition of the artist’s work at DCA, Dundee (17th September – 20th November 2016) 

8th July 2016: Scottish National Portrait Gallery: Laurence Figgis spoke at the ‘Friday Night Mixer: Surreal Encounters’ event on the subject of Dalí and Disney

2nd – 25th June 2016: ‘Displacement Activities’: Laurence Figgis was commissioned to write a new creative text to accompany the solo exhibition by Steven Grainger at Verge Gallery, Sydney

8th – 24th April 2016: ‘Human Shaped’: Laurence Figgis presented new work for G.I. (Glasgow International Festival of Art) as part of a group exhibition – also featuring Rowan Mace, Steven Grainger, Billy Teasdale and Suzanne Dery

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Monster of virtue,
thrall to the houses
of silence and darkness
in this world and
in all other worlds,

how could you not
succumb to the lure
of the absolute Stalinist
eroticism, the tender
joy of bureaucracy,
the absolute abjection
of love?

How many fathers
of children have you
denounced? How many
enemies of the state of
intricacy have you denounced
and betrayed to further
your own career?

And how brittle
and bony your face
has become.

Friends and representation

Laurence Figgis is friends with: Snow White, Huckleberry Finn, the Bachelor Machines, Hareton Earnshaw, Alan Turing, the Jets AND the Sharks, the “Little Picture Plane”, Marie Antoinette de France, La Femme Engorgée, “She Who is Eternally Returning”, Harry Lime’s “cuckoo clock,” and “a certain slant of light, winter afternoons”.

He is represented by Collaterlie Sisters.

Further Reading

Adam Benmakhlouf: Review of Laurence Figgis: ANYKENT

Trying the door like an opportunist burglar, Laurence Figgis’s ANYKENT exhibition at The Briggait is locked. Across the road, there are the same empty shop fronts of Macleod Highland Supplies Kilt Shop, Theatre Nemo and POSTER AND BANNER PRINTING. Just the right backdrop for what at first looks like post-destall detritus. Wooden stretchers are cast aside and leaning alongside an open sketchbook and torn papers. READ MORE

Kenneth Davidson: Review of Laurence Figgis: ‘Hugs n Fun-Fun’: New Works on Paper

In the Glasgow Project Room at 103 Trongate, I Met Laurence Figgis while his exhibition was being documented by a photographer. I introduced myself and we looked out across the street through the gallery’s windows to where a Glasgow city centre, seven-storey, 1920s (Goldbergs / and latterly, What Every Woman Wants) department store is being demolished.  (Selfridges is developing the site now). – I visited the exhibition the previous day.  Laurence Figgis, Hugs n Fun-Fun, New works on paper.  I went back to get some photos. – We chatted quite quickly.  At the door, a handout sheet of A4, the exhibition notes, carried the list of the titles of the 19 works. READ MORE

Susannah Thompson: ‘The Female Sea: Notes on Distressed Genres’

William Burges’ bedroom was famous for its monstrous frieze: mermaids and sea-monsters writhed and grimaced in and out of a Gothic arcade. It was here in his Scarlet Chamber that Burges played out the last act in his High Victorian Dream. To share these fantastic dreams demanded a willing suspension of disbelief and a taste for catholic collage.

The ensemble cast of the Great MacGuffin could almost be the anthropomorphic players of a million Burgesian trophies (the fish plates of Lord Bute; a bronze table with cloven feet; a claret cup in the form of a sphinx). A fellow lover of fairytales, Figgis, like Burges, underlines the infinite flexibility of historicist modes, with a ‘distinct, sharp, and wirey’ wit. READ MORE

Nick Evans: ‘Theatre of Admin’

Spinning out of the somewhat generic conditions of the ‘social dialectic’ are sets of concerns specific to particular artists.  Alex Pollard, in a talk he gave at the Talbot Rice gallery in Edinburgh in February 2004, flashed up images of the work of Laurence Figgis, Iain Hetherington, and Alan Michael. The works in question: Theatre of Admin (Figgis 2003), Man Playing Air Guitar in His New Clothes (Hetherington 2004)and Misty in Roots (Michael) all share in common a critique of the bureaucratisation of culture and insidious managerialism.  These works parody existing structures and systems of representation, using quiet subversive humour to undermine cultural assumptions and hierarchies. Thus Figgis’s Theatre of Admin poses as a Richard Hamiltonesque pop-collage. READ MORE


Thanks to Patricia DeVries of deFreeze for her consultation and advice and to Alan Dimmick for photographing many of the artworks on this site.