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"David Shrigley: Recent Prints In association with Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen"
2006-07-22 until 2006-09-16
Edinburgh Printmakers
Edinburgh, , UK United Kingdom

Edinburgh Printmakers presents a new exhibition of recent prints by David Shrigley, in association with Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen. This exhibition includes etchings and woodcuts produced between 2000 and 2005 in Copenhagen and also an exciting new screenprint print by Shrigley commissioned and published by Edinburgh Printmakers in 2006. David Shrigley is perhaps one of the most widely known artists of his generation, his work being greeted with overwhelming enthusiasm by both general and specialist audiences. Although primarily known for his often darkly humourous drawings, either in published collections such as Kill Your Pets and The Book of Shrigley, or appearing regularly in the Weekend Guardian, Shrigley is also prolific in other mediums.

He has produced sculptures, photographs, paintings, public art projects, animated films and, as featured in this exhibition of new work, etchings and woodcuts published by Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhangen and a new screenprint published by Edinburgh Printmakers. He is, in fact, an artist for whom conventional distinctions between art forms - and, indeed, between art and supposedly non-art forms - are largely irrelevant.

Across the majority of his prolific and varied output certain characteristics remain constant. In terms of drawing, for example, the style is simple and direct - almost childlike in its immediacy and apparent awkwardness. These drawings are very rarely reworked, and any ‘mistakes’ are left to stand. In responding to them, it would be missing the point to consider them as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ‘good’ or ‘bad’ on technical grounds. As Shrigley says; “My drawings are done intuitively. I don’t start with any ideas, I just start with a blank sheet of paper and a pen and I keep drawing and writing things until I do something that seems to make sense.” This is not to say, however, that Shrigley refuses to edit his work.

On the contrary: “I always want to surprise myself to some extent. The drawings which don’t surprise me go in the bin.” In pursuit of the surprising, Shrigley’s daily routine sees him spending many hours with a pen in his hand, drawing constantly. “I seem to have” he says, “more success with drawing if I try to convince myself that I’m just passing the time rather than actually working.” When he further claims that, “there are certain themes that repeat themselves but it’s not something I’m conscious of at the time when I’m working”, it is almost as if Shrigley’s work issues directly from the artist’s stream of consciousness. In this sense it might be tempting to link it to the automatic techniques of the surrealists in which all moral, technical and aesthetic judgements were suspended in order to gain direct access to the extraordinary, uncensored imagery produced directly by the artist’s unconscious. But this would be taking it too far. Shrigley’s work, in fact, is never so completely private and self-absorbed. It always suggests something illuminating about the strange and often disturbing world that we live in, and our equally unexpected relation to it. Here we may find banality, psychological darkness, absurdity and occasional violence, but we are also guaranteed to find a redeeming sense of humour. .

David Shrigley was born in Macclesfield in 1968, moving with his family to Leicester soon after. At age nine he decided to be an astronaut, only to realise at age twelve that he would prefer to be a professional footballer. Subsequent events, however, revealed a different path. He studied on the Art and Design Foundation course at the Leicester Polytechnic before entering the Environmental Art department at the Glasgow School of Art in 1988. He has lived in Glasgow since. David Shrigley has exhibited widely at international venues, and has published over 25 books. In 2004 he produced the animated film for Blur’s Good Song in association with Shynola.

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