David Shrigley was born in 1968 in Macclesfield, UK. He lives and works in Brighton, UK.
Shrigley’s quick-witted drawings and hand-rendered texts are typically deadpan in their humour and reveal chance utterings like snippets of over-heard conversations. Recurring themes and thoughts pervade his storytelling, 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, Shrigley also works across an extensive range of media including sculpture, large-scale installation, animation, painting, photography and music. Shrigley consistently seeks to widen his audience by operating outside the gallery sphere, including producing artist publications and creating collaborative music projects.
His digital animations such as ‘Headless Drummer’ and ‘The Artist’ demonstrate what Shrigley calls ‘the economy of telling stories’, delivering a deftly crafted mix of dark and light through the simplest of forms. In his sculptural works, rendered in materials such as bronze and ceramic, the artist makes physical some of his more curious and eccentric propositions by transforming found objects or by playing with their scale. Taking Lewis Carroll's perspective of Wonderland, Shrigley enlarges objects and imbues them with curious proportions.
Shrigley was a Turner Prize nominee in 2013, following his major mid-career retrospective at the Hayward Gallery, London titled ‘Brain Activity'. In September 2016, his monumental sculpture ‘Really Good' was unveiled in Trafalgar Square, London for the Fourth Plinth Commission. From 2015 to 2018 the British Council-organised exhibition 'Lose Your Mind' travelled to six venues including Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China; Storage by Hyundai Card in Seoul, Korea and Instituto-Cultural-Cabañas in Guadalajara, Mexico. In January 2020 Shrigley was awarded the decoration of Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire or OBE. In March 2020 Ruinart Champagne announced Shrigley as its Artist Carte Blanche for 2020. The artist currently has an on-going presentation in the Gallery at Sketch, London as part of a long-term programme of artist-conceived restaurants.
Selected solo exhibitions include: : ‘Do Not Touch the Worms’, Copenhagen Contemporary, Denmark (2020); ‘Fond Memories of Giant Bug’, Jiri Svestka Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic (2020); ‘Kindness: Prints & Drawings by David Shrigley’, Newstead Abbey Historic House & Gardens, Nottinghamshire, England (2019); ‘Do it (do not do it)’, Museo de arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City, Mexico (2019); ‘David Shrigley: To Be of Use’, Art Omi, Ghent, New York, USA (2019); ‘Exhibition of Inflatable Swan Things and Other Things’, Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen, Denmark (2019); ‘Fluff War’, Anton Kern Gallery, New York, USA (2019); ‘Exhibition of Inflatable Swan Things’, Spritmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden (2018-2019); ‘David Shrigley’, Two Rooms, Auckland, New Zealand (2019); ‘Laughterhouse’, Deste Foundation Project Space, Greece (2018); ‘Life Model II’, Fabrica, Brighton, England (2018); ‘Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Massachusetts, USA (2016); ‘David Shrigley’, Two Rooms Gallery, Auckland Arts Festival, Auckland, New Zealand (2015); ‘David Shrigley: Life and Life Drawing’, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2014-2015); ‘David Shrigley’, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany (2014); ‘Brain Activity’, Hayward Gallery, London, England touring to Yerba Beuna Centre for the Arts, San Francisco, USA (2013); ‘How Are You Feeling?’, Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK (2012-2013); ‘Arms Fayre’, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, England (2012); ‘Drawings’, Mumbai Art Rooms, Mumbai, India (2012); ‘Animate’, Turku Art Museum, Finland (2011) and ‘David Shrigley’, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway (2009).
Shrigley’s works are included in prominent collections internationally, including Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA; Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, USA; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany; Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark; Thyssen-Bornemisza Contemporary Art Foundation, Vienna, Austria; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Scotland; Tate, London, England; and The British Council, London, England; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.