David Shrigley


fluorescent tube, transformer, and cable
27 1/8 x 41 x 1 1/8 inches
edition of 3 + 1 artist proof

A dark, dry sense of humor and vulnerable take on human existence permeate much of British artist David Shrigley’s work. He is known for his cartoon drawings that incorporate text, but has also worked in sculptural media such as bronze, ceramic, taxidermy, and neon, seen here in Closed and Open. In this work, Shrigley plays with the typical OPEN and CLOSED neon signs of a shop window. By taking the literal meaning of the words and placing them in the context of an art space, Shrigley twists their intent, playing on ideas about the open or closed nature of an artwork’s interpretation, an artist, or even the mental or emotional state of the viewer. Speaking about his choice of text, Shrigley says, “I’m interested in the slippage of meaning when one speaks metaphorically or idiomatically.” In another conceptual gesture, Shrigley inverts the text in the work (Open and Closed) to become its title (Closed and Open), pushing the words’ meanings even further. Shrigley’s work has been exhibited internationally, and is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Marieluise Hessel Collection on permanent loan to the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson; British Council, London; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; Art Institute of Chicago; Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield; and the Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, among others.