2018: David Shrigley

Best known for his distinctive drawing style and works that make satirical comments on the absurdity of 21st-century society.

Guest Director of Brighton Festival 2018 was David Shrigley, who is best known for his distinctive drawing style and works that make satirical comments on the absurdity of 21st-century society.

Shrigley’s darkly humorous compositions reflect the inconsequential, the bizarre, and the disquieting elements of daily life. While drawing is at the centre of his practice, his work spans an extensive range of media including sculpture, large-scale installation, animation, painting, photography and music.

David Shrigley was born in Macclesfield in 1968 and grew up in Leicester. He studied Fine Art in the Department of Environmental Art at Glasgow School of Art from 1988–91. He lived in Glasgow for 27 years before moving to Brighton in 2015.

Since the early 1990s, Shrigley has also produced a continuous flow of artist’s books. His cartoons have been published in publications such as The Guardian and New Statesman.

In recent years, Shrigley has expanded his practice to include filmmaking. He directed the videos for Blur’s Good Song and indie-king Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy's song Agnes, Queen of Sorrow and co-directed an animated film with award-winning director Chris Shepherd based on Shrigley's book Who I Am and What I Want.

He released his first spoken-word album Shrigley Forced to Speak With Others in 2006, which was followed by a double-CD of artists including David Byrne, Islands, and Grizzly Bear, who put Shrigley's book Worried Noodles to music.
 

Shrigley's work has been exhibited widely, including solo shows at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

In 2013, Shrigley was nominated for the prestigious Turner Prize for his solo show David Shrigley: Brain Activity at the Hayward Gallery in London. In September 2016, Shrigley's large scale sculpture Really Good was unveiled in Trafalgar Square, for the Fourth Plinth Commission.

Shrigley's works are included in prominent collections internationally, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany; Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; Thyssen-Bornemisza Contemporary Art Foundation, Vienna; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; Tate, London; and The British Council, London.

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2019: Rokia Traoré

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2017: Kae Tempest

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