David Shrigley
Viewing Room
27 May - 7 June 2020

David Shrigley

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Overview

“I guess the basis of what I do is to try and avoid contrivance. It’s all an experiment, trying to get somewhere that you didn’t really know that you wanted to go. It’s quite a meditative process. It feels quite healthy emotionally, it’s somewhere where you can go, where I can go to escape from ‘reality’, such as it is right now.” - David Shrigley, 22 May 2020

'Lockdown Drawings' is a new body of work created by British artist David Shrigley during the UK's coronavirus lockdown in spring 2020. Encompassing 340 works to date, these quick-witted ink on paper drawings reveal chance utterings and satirical comments on everyday situations and human interactions. Shrigley produced these works at his home by the sea in Devon, in the southwest of England. "We decamped here from Brighton. And I brought 500 sheets of paper and several bottles of ink," the artist says. "I have a little studio in the house [and] I'm able to do my thing."

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'Lockdown Drawings' is a new body of work created by British artist David Shrigley during the UK's coronavirus lockdown in spring 2020. Encompassing 340 works to date, these quick-witted ink on paper drawings reveal chance utterings and satirical comments on everyday situations and human interactions. Shrigley produced these works at his home by the sea in Devon, in the southwest of England. "We decamped here from Brighton. And I brought 500 sheets of paper and several bottles of ink," the artist says. "I have a little studio in the house [and] I'm able to do my thing."

Shrigley is best known for his distinctive drawing style and works that are deadpan in their humour. His drawing practice involves a lengthy editing process of exploring ideas and throwing things away. The artist explains, "My working method is to make a set number of drawings every day. In doing that, it's a good way to avoid contrivance. So my only task is to really just to sort of fill the page or fill a number of pages and then somehow the work seems to make itself. But if I focus on the process rather than the finished artwork, then that somehow allows me to make something that somehow works."

'Lockdown Drawings' continues the artist's exploration of the absurdities of everyday life. One cannot help but view these works through the prism of the Covid-19 pandemic, something Shrigley acknowledges when discussing their creation. "It's all an experiment, trying to get somewhere that you didn't really know that you wanted to go. It's quite a meditative process. It feels quite healthy emotionally, it's somewhere where you can go, where I can go to escape from 'reality', such as it is right now."

“I guess the basis of what I do is to try and avoid contrivance. It’s all an experiment, trying to get somewhere that you didn’t really know that you wanted to go. It’s quite a meditative process. It feels quite healthy emotionally, it’s somewhere where you can go, where I can go to escape from ‘reality’, such as it is right now.” - David Shrigley, 22 May 2020

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David Shrigley Devon Studio Tour, 22 May 2020

“I work very simply, I’ve just got a drawing board, some pens, some ink….  brushes… my computer, a few other bits and bobs, lots of paper… probably will have run out of paper by the summer time… but I’m not there yet.”

- David Shrigley, 22 May 2020

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Different sized ears, 22 May 2020

DAVID SHRIGLEY b. 1968, United Kingdom

David 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.

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.

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David Shrigley, 'New Friends', 2006

Animation, Running time: 1 minute, Edition of 6 + 1 AP

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