Hayward Gallery
exhibition

David Shrigley: Brain Activity

David Shrigley: Brain Activity, 1 February – 13 May 2012, Hayward Gallery. British artist David Shrigley is best known for humorous drawings that make witty and wry observations on everyday life. Trained as a fine artist, his deliberately crude graphic style gives his work an immediate and accessible appeal, while simultaneously offering insightful commentary on the absurdities of human relationships. 

While he makes forays into many different types of humour, from one-liner jokes to tragicomic narratives by way of paradox, absurdity and incongruity, he aims to provoke surprise as much as laughter. Besides drawing inspiration from everyday life, Shrigley’s imagination also plunges into darker realms of the uncanny, violence and death. 

This exhibition, Shrigley’s first major survey show in London, covered the full range of his practice. Spanning the period from the beginning of his career in the mid-1990s to the present day, it included handwritten texts, photography, books, sculpture, animation, painting and music. 

Occupying the entirety of the upper galleries of the Hayward Gallery, the show also included new artwork, site-specific installations, and the London premiere of his first (and last) operatic collaboration Pass the Spoon.

David Shrigley: Brain Activity toured to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (22 Jun – 23 Sept 2012). 

The exhibition was accompanied by a hardback catalogue featuring an interview by writer Dave Eggers, essays by Matthew Herbert and Hayward Gallery curator Cliff Lauson, and an original piece of prose by the artist Jonathan Monk. 

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British artist David Shrigley is best known for humorous drawings that make witty and wry observations on everyday life. Trained as a fine artist, his deliberately crude graphic style gives his work an immediate and accessible appeal, while simultaneously offering insightful commentary on the absurdities of human relationships. 

While he makes forays into many different types of humour, from one-liner jokes to tragicomic narratives by way of paradox, absurdity and incongruity, he aims to provoke surprise as much as laughter. Besides drawing inspiration from everyday life, Shrigley’s imagination also plunges into darker realms of the uncanny, violence and death. 

This exhibition, Shrigley’s first major survey show in London, covered the full range of his practice. Spanning the period from the beginning of his career in the mid-1990s to the present day, it included handwritten texts, photography, books, sculpture, animation, painting and music. 

Occupying the entirety of the upper galleries of the Hayward Gallery, the show also included new artwork, site-specific installations, and the London premiere of his first (and last) operatic collaboration Pass the Spoon.

David Shrigley: Brain Activity toured to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (22 Jun – 23 Sept 2012). 

The exhibition was accompanied by a hardback catalogue featuring an interview by writer Dave Eggers, essays by Matthew Herbert and Hayward Gallery curator Cliff Lauson, and an original piece of prose by the artist Jonathan Monk. 

David Shrigley: Brain Activity

An illustrated catalogue featuring an interview by writer Dave Eggers and a 7-inch picture disc. 

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