new-york

David Shrigley

Anton Kern Gallery

David Shrigley’s recent work feels like the result of a personality test administered by a not entirely benevolent authority. Some of his drawings seem like innocent doodles that have bubbled up from his subconscious: a set of mindless-looking circles with an ant traveling around the rim, for example. There are also more straightforward kinds of communication: lists, diagrams, conversations (either recorded or imagined), and meaningless adages. They have a slightly adversarial air—urgent, almost belligerent, and often reaching witty heights of passive aggression. A drawing titled Dear Neighbours (all works 2005) depicts a hand writing a note that reads: DEAR NEIGHBOURS, PLEASE KEEP THE FUCKING NOISE DOWN YOU INCONSIDERATE BUNCH OF STUPID CUNTS.

The apparent randomness of these drawings, with their scrawled, childish, slightly tortured quality, gradually resolves itself, if not quite into

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