stephen friedman gallery followed a different approach at this year’s frieze art fair, presenting the work of david shrigley in the form of a shopfront display. best known for his tongue-in-cheek, deadpan works, the british artist has created five new, large-scale neons that showcase his caustic sense of humor, accompanied by a major two-screen digital animation, a new sound-based installation and a new body of works on paper.

david shrigley's tongue-in-cheek neon works presented as a shopfront during frieze art fair
trivial news headlines – caustic sense of humour
image courtesy of stephen friedman gallery 

 

 

rendered in his distinctive handwriting, the neons were installed in shop windows visible from outside of the stephen friedman gallery‘s booth, adding a playful vibrancy to the display. david shrigley has drawn from the format of neon street signs or advertisements, undermining their authority with his nonsensical messages. upon entering the booth, visitors encountered new works on paper, including the series of proclamatory headlines reminiscent of those traditionally displayed outside newsagents. during the opening day of frieze, these works were replaced on an hourly basis, keeping visitors up to date with the artist’s absurd ‘news’ of the day, whilst also giving a nod to the oversaturated nature of the media.


frosted neon writing, seen from inside the steven friedman gallery’s booth
image © designboom


image © designboom

 

 

a two-screen installation titled ‘endless joint’ was on display for the first time in the UK inside the booth, which captures a succession of characters caught in a perpetual cycle of smoking. on a separate room, a satirical, sound-based installation with shrigley’s vocal imitation of extractor fans and a series of mock extractor hoods demonstrated the artist’s uncanny ability to play with the mundane nature of banal objects and scenarios. inspired by the noisy judder of his foundry’s extractor fans, shrigley has recorded his own vocal imitation of the machines in four different octaves. the harmony is played on an endless loop.


image courtesy of stephen friedman gallery 


‘endless joint’ (2017) is a major two-screen digital animation that captures characters caught in a perpetual cycle of smoking
image courtes of stephen friedman gallery 

 
.. terribly busy. outward facing neons of shrigley’s slogans such as ‘distractions’ and ‘my artwork is terrible and I am a very bad person’ that are attention-seeking yet endearingly self-deprecating
image © designboom


rendered in his distinctive handwriting, the neons convey nonsensical messages that deliberately undermine their own authority as signs or advertisements
image courtesy of stephen friedman gallery 


image © designboom


image courtesy of stephen friedman gallery 


image © designboom

david shrigley's tongue-in-cheek neon works presented as a shopfront during frieze art fair
inside the gallery’s storage room: installation with shrigley’s vocal imitation of extractor fans and a series of mock extractor hoods
image © designboom


image © designboom


image © designboom


image © designboom

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    art news