Introducing: Fags, Birds and a Couple of Guns
News / Exhibitions

Introducing: Fags, Birds and a Couple of Guns

Jan 22, 2020

We are delighted to finally share details of our upcoming show, a retrospective of the wonderful Nancy Fouts. Read below...

We are beyond pleased to present Fags, Birds and a Couple of Guns, a retrospective dedicated to the extraordinary work of

Nancy Fouts.

This incredible show has been in the works for a long time and we are excited to finally be able to share details on what's to come.
American-born artist Nancy Fouts, who passed away in April 2019, is best known for her distinctive sculptural works, which reconfigure commonplace objects and materials with subversive and playful humour. Nancy’s work brings together these seemingly disconnected items, religious artefacts, creatures and symbols to create bizarre juxtapositions of the everyday, wickedly funny taxidermy sculptures, and even giving Old Master paintings a surreal twist.

Exit Jesus, 2014, photography in light box.

The artist described her approach to gleaning ideas as “beachcombing”, rediscovering the familiar with a perspective that she likened to childhood naivety. Admired for her boundless enthusiasm and passion for disrupting the everyday, the ‘modern-day surrealist’ is genuinely much loved and respected by artists, curators and collectors alike for her wild imagination, wit and generosity of spirit.
Nancy’s admirers include



Gavin Turk


Sir Peter Blake.

Curator James Putnam, who worked closely with the artist, commented, “Her deliciously infectious smile and dry wit made her a magnet for artists and curators of all ages, coupled with her talent for throwing unforgettable parties at her art-filled Camden house.”

Nancy Fouts photographed with one of her sculptural works.

Working closely with the artists’ estate, the retrospective will feature work spanning several decades, including some of her best loved sculptures and framed works alongside unseen pieces from her converted vicarage home and studio space in Camden.
Cathryn Wright, Executor of Nancy’s estate comments, “Nancy’s retrospective Fags, Birds and a Couple of Guns brings together a fabulous collection of her artworks from past to present to make what is sure to be a suitably weird and eclectic exhibition. This will be the first major show of her works since her death last year and we are delighted to be working with Hang-Up Gallery for what will certainly be a fitting tribute to an extraordinary woman.”

Lovebird with Grenade, 2012, hand grenade, taxidermy lovebird, cast resin.

Fags, Birds and a Couple of Guns will be the inaugural exhibition in our striking new space on the Regent’s Canal, Hoxton.Hang-Up's Founder, Ben Cotton, comments, “I was lucky enough to be introduced to Nancy’s work around ten years ago and instantly became both a fan and a collector. Her wicked sense of humour shines through in all her pieces and it’s impossible not to be drawn in. It is therefore a real honour for me personally and the Hang-Up Gallery to have the opportunity to show her works in this retrospective.”

A Little More About Nancy Fouts...

American-born artist Nancy Fouts (1945-2019) graduated from Chelsea School of Art in the 60s, then attended the Royal College of Art, whilst painting shop fronts in Carnaby Street, for the likes of Lord Kitchener’s Valet. In 1968 she co-founded the pioneering design and model making company Shirt Sleeve Studio, and won the Designers and Art Directors Associations Gold Award for Most Outstanding Artwork in 1973. She created seminal ad campaigns for Silk Cut, British Airways, and Virgin, and designed album covers for bands including Manfred Mann, and Steeleye Span. The record sleeve for Steeleye Span ‘Commoners Crown’, won the 1976 award for Best Designed British Album Sleeve. She directed an artist run gallery in London which opened in 1989 and went on to exhibit in London, Venice, Denmark and Brussels. You can find out more about the extraordinary artist by reading our interview with her


Fags, Birds and a Couple of Guns will be on at Hang-Up Gallery from the 28th of February until the 24th of April. A Private View and drinks reception will be held on Thursday 27th February from 6 - 9 pm. Please note RSVP will be essential for the event.
If you have any questions regarding the show please don't hesitate to get in touch through In the lead up to the show and throughout it's run, expect to catch print releases, competitions, and more so keep your eyes on our social media to make sure you don't miss out! Trust us this will be a show you won't forget.
Thanks for reading,
Hang-Up Team

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