david shrigley solo exhibition at pinakothek der moderne, munich

11 April 2014
The exhibition at the Pinakothek der Moderne is David Shrigley's first major solo show in a German museum.

Some 130 works on paper in a variety of techniques and formats clearly illustrate the spectrum covered by his drawings. Many of the works exhibited have been created especially for this exhibition, including several in a large format more than two metres high.

An empty plinth stands at the centre of the conceptual installation The Spectre, a secret sculpture. The sculpture made for it was kept in a locked room in the Pinakothek der Moderne for ten days and was drawn by 100 selected people - children and adults, amateurs and professionals, including illustrators, a composite (‘photofit') specialist and a courtroom artist. No photographs of the sculpture were allowed to be taken, making the drawings seen in the exhibition the only testimony to the sculpture's existence. 100 subjective perspectives converge in these works - the will to depict the sculpture exactly, expressions of personal perception, technical skills, and free and partially subconscious associations.

For his Poster Project in 2006 Shrigley invited people he knew as well as strangers to tell him about a personal event (the birth of a child, a wedding, a party, someone's death, etc.), for which the artist then created an independent drawing in the form of a poster. He used the event and let it evolve a life of its own as a free composition.

Three short animation films illustrate what Shrigley calls the ‘economy of telling stories'. With the minimum of information they tell a story full of humour and absurdity and, through constant repetition, make an everyday activity seem both foreign and almost abstract at the same time.
A large random drawing has been created by a Drawing Machine, throwing open to discussion questions about authorship, inventiveness and unpredictable moments in the drawing process.

The exhibition follows Shrigley's work ‘ Bubblesplatz', a memorial to Michael Jackson's pet chimpanzee Bubbles that was installed on Promenadeplatz in Munich for the summer of 2013. Situated next to a fan-built memorial to the late King of Pop, Bubblesplatz launched a public discussion into the purpose of public monuments and the relation between the collective memory and personal responsibility.

Shrigley is best known for his distinctive drawing style and works that make satirical comments on everyday situations and human interactions. His quick-witted drawings and hand-rendered texts are typically dead-pan in their humour and reveal chance utterings like snippets of over-heard conversations. Reoccurring themes and thoughts pervade his story-telling capturing child-like views of the world, the perspective of aliens and monsters or the compulsive habits of an eavesdropper shouting out loud. While drawing is at the centre of his practice, the artist also works across an extensive range of media including sculpture, large-scale installation, animation, painting, photography and music.

The exhibition runs from 11 April until 8 August 2014.

David Shrigley at Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich.