David Shrigley: An Eye on the Past

David Shrigley: An Eye on the Past

Irreverent pairings in art history, courtesy of our London Editions team.

Irreverent pairings in art history, courtesy of our London Editions team.

David Shrigley, It’s Ok Not To Like It, 2022. David Shrigley: Online Auction.  

To celebrate the launch of Phillips’ David Shrigley: Online Auction, open for bidding through 14 June, the London Editions Department pair their favorite lots by the contemporary British artist with masterpieces of the past.


Left: Paul Cézanne, The Card Players, 1890-92. Image: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Bequest of Stephen C. Clark, 1960. Right: David Shrigley, Fucking Ace, 2018. David Shrigley: Online Auction.

In 1906, Paul Cézanne wrote, “To my mind one does not put oneself in place of the past, one only adds a new link.” David Shrigley draws from the deck of art history, even as he adds his own irreverent link.


Left: David Shrigley, You Are Special, 2019. David Shrigley: Online Auction. Right: Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus, 1845. Image: Scala, Florence - courtesy of the Ministero Beni e Att. Culturali e del Turismo. 

The jewel within the crown, the pearl within the clam. David Shrigley reminds us we are all diamonds in the rough.


Left: Albrecht Dürer, Young Hare, 1502. Image: Albertina Museum, Vienna. Right: David Shrigley, Before You Can Entertain, 2022. David Shrigley: Online Auction

Hopping from 1502 to 2022, Albrecht Dürer’s hare and David Shrigley’s shadow bunny attest to a long-standing love of Leporids throughout art history.


Left: David Shrigley, Untitled (Are You Comfortable With This?), 2022. David Shrigley: Online Auction. Right: Giorgio Morandi, Still Life, 1951. Artwork: © DACS, 2023. 

The melancholy of Morandi is defied by Shrigley’s usual humor as he laughs in the face of loneliness. Are you comfortable being uncomfortable? If the empty bottle makes you sad, knock it onto the floor!


Left: Rene Magritte, La Leçon de Musique, 1965. Artwork: © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2023. Right: David Shrigley, Untitled (I Do Not Listen to Criticism), 2018. David Shrigley: Online Auction

Ce n'est pas une oreille! Capturing the intagible in pictoral form, Magritte and Shrigley morph the sensory world of sound into the visual realm, tying bodies to experience.


Left: David Shrigley, Pretty Thoughts Inside Your Head, 2018. David Shrigley: Online Auction. Right: Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893. Image: Scala, Florence. 

Pretty little jewels cluster inside Shrigley’s mind like vibrating atoms of imagination waiting to burst out as paintball splatters over the paper. Munch’s colors have already spread across the page, with undulations of paint unspooling like his never-ending silent scream.


Left: Henri Rousseau, Surprised!, 1891. Image: © The National Gallery, London/Scala, Florence. Right: David Shrigley, Tiger Shit, 2021. David Shrigley: Online Auction

Tigers, tigers, what a sight! Shrigley and Rousseau know how to excite. Following in the footsteps of the poet William Blake, these two artists created their own unique homages to the fearsome tiger: Shrigley showcases his simple humor while Rousseau renders one of his famous imaginary jungle scenes.


Left: David Shrigley, It’s All Your Fault, 2019. David Shrigley: Online Auction. Right: Your Country Needs You Poster. Image: incamerastock / Alamy Stock Photo. 

Don’t point – its rude! And could easily be misconstrued it seems. Only through the addition of text does David Shrigley’s accusatory hand become the antithesis of Field-Marshal Lord Kitchener’s iconic call to arms. What a difference a couple of words can make!


Left: Laocoön. Image: B.O’Kane Alamy Stock Photo. Right: David Shrigley, Serpent, 2020. David Shrigley: Online Auction

A vicious snake writhing with tension, suspended in stone in an epic moment of classical grandeur – watch out for David Shrigley’s Serpent.

Left: Thomas Gainsborough, Spitz Dog, 1765. Image: Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. Right: David Shrigley, No One Is Happier Than Me, 2022. David Shrigley: Online Auction

How much is that doggy in the window? Adopt don’t shop is the way forward for our canine companions, but David Shrigley’s exuberant pup is begging you to bid!



Auction Information / 

Online Auction 7 - 14 June 2023

Viewing 10 June - 12 June
Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm
Sunday 12:00pm-6:00pm
Monday 10:00am-6:00pm

30 Berkeley Square, London, United Kingdom, W1J 6EX (map)



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