David Shrigley’s longstanding relationship with the Stephen Friedman Gallery has borne an impressive series of eight shows to date, of which ‘Drawings and Paintings’ is the latest. The new showcase sees Shrigley’s distinctive drawings realised in a satisfyingly large scale and rendered in a combination of acrylic and, for the first time, oil stick on primed paper.
Displayed across both of the Mayfair gallery’s Old Burlington Street locations, Shrigley’s work takes on new levels of vibrancy in this new colourful medium. In particular, the Brighton-based artist takes aim at the 1960s optical art movement, poking fun at the genre’s smooth lines and carefully measured proportions by mimicking them in his typically wobbly script.
Famed for his own brand of self-described ‘oblique mordant' humour, his cutting captions complete each painting. Scrawled in small type somewhere within his compositions, a sharp observation of human nature is distilled into just a few words. From his chaotic empty grid marked ‘Schedule’, to his makeshift sign detailing the opening hours of a 24/7 store selling ‘sugary beverages’, Shrigley’s unique ability to raise a wry smile from even the most serious of viewers is perfectly demonstrated here.
The new show, which runs concurrently with Shrigley’s major touring solo show, 'Lose your Mind', organised by the British Council, also prefigures Shrigley’s ‘Really Good’, which will be unveiled in Trafalgar Square, for the Fourth Plinth Commission in September 2016.