August 30, 2007 - Malmö Konsthall - David Shrigley
August 30, 2007

David Shrigley

Everything must have a name

8 September – 4 November 2007

Press preview Thursday 6 September at 11 a.m.
Opening Friday 7 September 7-9 p.m.

S:t Johannesgatan 7
Box 17 127
SE-200 10 Malmö

The exhibition Everything must have a name by David Shrigley (b. 1968, in Macclesfield, England) will be the artist’s first retrospective solo exhibition in Northern Europe. Shrigley is best known for his black and white, text-based, deceptively amateurish ink drawings. Besides drawings Everything must have a name will compile a vast number of sculptures, inkjet prints, monotypes, t-shirts, sound works, films, photographs and last but not least, books. Around 600 works will be presented in many different forms and formats at Malmö Konsthall. The exhibition will show animated films such as Who I Am And What I Want (2006), New Friends (2006), Laundry (2006), and sculptures like Nutless (2001), Unfinished letter (2003) and Black pot (2004) among many others. Malmö Konsthall will also present 16 recent paintings made for Deerhoof’s record Friend Opportunity and his own record Shrigley Forced To Speak With Others (2006).

David Shrigley will also make several new sculptural and site specific pieces for Malmö Konsthall, which he has divided into more than 20 individual spaces and corridors with individual names, titles and themes.

The ambition of the exhibition is to present David Shrigley’s extensive body of work, and to show his unique pieces next to the multiplied works made for t-shirts, coffee mugs, record covers, greeting cards and music videos.

In 1991, Shrigley made his first book Slug Trails, and many since, characterized by his humorous, dark satirical drawings and writing. Through the books and his weekly drawings in The Guardian (since September 2005), the animation series Modern thought by David Shrigley for BBC, the music videos Blur’s Good Song (2003) and Bonnie Prince Billy’s Agnes, queen of sorrow (2004) Shrigley has developed different audiences and has managed to bridge the gap between popular culture and fine art.

Throughout Shrigley’s many different ways of working the viewer will find an absurd logic to life. Shrigley comments on the world with a nihilistic wit, word games and interrogations leaving us question ourselves and what is around us.

In many works, there are lists with rules and regulations, “do’s and don’ts” and lists of rights and wrongs. God and Satan walk hand in hand and the turn of the screw is the absence of belief, which leads to doubt and even more questions. There are lists of questions, confessions and suggestions, and the individual — human, animal or non-descript organism — has to select and decide on what ethics and morality to follow (and the bleak consequences if they are broken).

On the backside of the book Grip (2000) David Shrigley gives the following instruction: “RULES: They say that rules are made to be broken but this is just a figure of speech. Rules are made to be kept. Rules are there to guide us. As modern world grows ever more complicated and appears to now be populated mostly by nutters rules have become increasingly important. Those who break the rules will be beaten with a rod of iron a then made to write out the rules one million times. Bending the rules is also forbidden. Bent rules are useless.”

What may seem normal to begin with often takes a drastic and grotesque turn in Shrigley’s universe. There are always consequences to one’s actions and below the surface thoughtful truths about the human condition and human soul are revealed.

David Shrigley studied Fine Art at Glasgow School of Art from 1988 to 1991, and has exhibited widely in Europe and North America including solo shows at Centro de Arte Caja de Burgos (Burgos), DCA, (Dundee, 2006), Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain (Geneva), UCLA Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), and Kunsthaus Zürich. His illustrations have appeared in newspapers and magazines such as Esquire (Japan), Donna (Italy), Frieze (UK), The Guardian (UK), Maisonneuve (Canada), Du (Switzerland).

David Shrigley lives and works in Glasgow.

Malmö Konsthall
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