Brain Activity

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Brain Activity, 2012 Installation View © Courtesy of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts / Photo: Kara Q. Smith
© Courtesy of the Artist
Brain Activity
Curated by: Cliff Lauson

701 Mission St.
94103 San Francisco

June 22nd, 2012 - September 23rd, 2012
Opening: June 22nd, 2012 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Other (outside areas listed)
Thu-Sat: noon-8pm; Sun: noon-6pm; First Tuesdays of the month (FREE) 12-8; Summer Hours (May 28 – Aug 31) include Wed 12-6 PM
$10 Regular/ $8 students, senior, discount; FREE for YBCA Members & YBCA:You; FREE first Tuesday of each month • noon – 8 pm


“David Shrigley's art operates at the cross-roads of art, absurdity and philosophy…It's like Kierkegaard, only with marker pens, poster paint and crappily-made sculpture. ” — J.J. Charlesworth, TimeOut London

“When was the last time you laughed out loud inside an art gallery? And I don’t mean sniggering at contemporary art… (David Shrigley’s exhibition) should come with a promise: laughter guaranteed, or your money back. ” — Alastair Sooke, The Telegraph, London

“Shrigley’s characters often spout existential truths that would be at home in a Samuel Beckett play. ” — Elizabeth Fullerton, ArtNews

The work of David Shrigley effortlessly infuses a comedic sensibility into a serious fine art practice. David Shrigley: Brain Activity showcases the diversity of the artist’s work — seemingly amateurish, crude drawings, sculptures made of unusual materials, and installations characterized by incongruities of scale—offering insightful and often surreal commentary on the absurdities of life, death and everything in between. Irreverent and mischievous, Shrigley’s art presents the kind of odd scenarios you never come across in real life, but wish you did.

Based in Glasgow, Shrigley is best known for his pared-down drawings and animations that make witty, wry and deadpan observations on a range of everyday subjects and situations. Shrigley’s doodles have a lightness that belies their incisiveness; he has developed his own unique comic aesthetic that speaks equally to popular culture and fine art, yet remains unexpectedly amusing and easily accessible. Other exhibition highlights include a selection of films and a well-known series of photographs featuring discreet interventions that the artist has orchestrated in various landscapes and interiors, injecting comedic irony into otherwise everyday banal imagery.

David Shrigley: Brain Activity, curated by Cliff Lauson of the Hayward Gallery, London, is the largest survey of the artist’s work to date, and features groupings of drawings and paintings on paper, a variety of sculptures, several installations, sets of photographs and a selection of animations.

Organized by Hayward Gallery, London; Curated by Cliff Lauson

About the Curator
Cliff Lauson is the curator at the Hayward Gallery, London. He received his BA in English Literature from The University of British Columbia in 2001, and his MA in 2004 and his PhD in 2009 in Art History from University College London. Recent exhibitions include Tracey Emin (Love Is What You Want), Ernesto Neto (The Edges of the World), and Ron Terada (Ron Terada: Who I Think I Am). He has also written for Art Monthly, Vitamin D: New Perspectives in Drawing and Fillip.

Media sponsor:
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David Shrigley (b.1968) lives and works in Glasgow. He has had solo exhibitions at venues including UCLA Hammer Museum of Los Angeles, Kunsthaus Zurich, Malmo Konsthall, Museum Ludwig, Camden Arts Centre and the CCA Glasgow. His work was featured weekly in The Guardian from 2005 to 2009 and he has had a number of books of his work published, most recently the retrospective What the Hell Are You Doing?: The Essential David Shrigley. He collaborated with animator Chris Shepherd on the film Who I am and What I Want in 2005. Worried Noodles, a CD released in 2007, features settings of the lyrics from his book Worried Noodles – the Empty Sleeve by artists as diverse as David Byrne, Franz Ferdinand and TV On The Radio.

Opening Night Party
Jun 22, 2012 8:00pm

$12 Advance / $15 at the door / FREE for YBCA members and YBCA:You participants
Be among the first to see the exhibition TimeOut London described as sitting “at the cross-roads of art, absurdity and philosophy… It's like Kierkegaard, only with marker pens, poster paint and crappily-made sculpture.” The evening's entertainment will include a rollicking DJ set and blood-curdling live performance by SF's very own garage rock trio Blasted Canyons. No host bar sponsored by Blue Sky Vodka.