David Shrigley’s Drawings
14 July - 19 August 2012
This exhibition presents fifteen artworks by Scottish artist David Shrigley. A quintessential selection of the artist's work, these small-scale drawings all date from 2007, made with ink on paper, the artist's favored medium. They exemplify Shrigley's aim to "communicate as simply and directly as possible."
Shrigley's straightforward technique and dark humor have drawn accolades for over twenty years, gathering steady recognition to date. He invents scenarios and situations that reveal an absurd and mordant sensibility, most often combining image and text. Shrigley is an artist and a cartoonist, working with the liberties of both professions but none of their restrictions. His works skewer any notion that art must be solemn in order to be serious. In their deliberately crude execution, these drawings remind us intensely of the halting process of thinking, putting thoughts to paper; Shrigley has described it as somewhere between handwriting and drawing.
Questioned recently about his dark sense of humor, Shrigley answered, "Well, I suppose it’s a cathartic thing. It enables you to say what you want to say, and vent your anger about just the lunatic, idiot world we live in. I think I’m a much saner person because I’m able to make work about how horrible people are, and how unacceptable it is that they are so horrible and how unacceptable it is that people accept how horrible these people are. I kind of assume that’s a given for everybody, that everybody feels that there are aspects of contemporary life in an advanced capitalist society that are really unacceptable, but what can we do to change it? Make stupid drawings I suppose." (Interview with Dave Eggers, David Shrigley: Brain Activity, Hayward Publishing, 2012)
Shrigley was born in 1968 in Macclesfield, England, and currently lives in Glasgow, Scotland. He studied in the Art and Design Foundation course at the Leicester Polytechnic in 1987, and then Environmental Art at the Glasgow School of Art from 1988 to 1991. His work has been exhibited internationally, most recently in a retrospective organized by the Hayward Gallery in London that is currently on view at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Shrigley has also published numerous books, directed music videos, and works with photography, sculpture, and sound recordings. Since 2005, he has contributed a cartoon every Saturday to the weekend magazine edition of The Guardian.
All works in the exhibition:
Ink on paper
8 1/4 x 11 3/4in (21 x 29.7 cm)
Courtesy Stephen Friedman Gallery, London