David Shrigley covers the walls of Sketch with 91 colourful new works.
This exhibition has been considered a fresh coat of satire; this new collection replaces his own vast collection of 239 black and white drawings, which previously hung on The Gallery – a section of the restaurant – walls since its launch in 2014.
By comparison the new collection is more vibrant, a theme of pink, red, black and white running throughout, in tune with the restaurant’s highly Instagrammed pink interior. “Following the fantastic reception The Gallery has received over the past three years, I’m really excited to continue the collaboration with Sketch and [interior designer] India Mahdavi with a series of new colourful works. With dreary news often filling our headlines, I hope that diners will enjoy my take on the banality of everyday life.”
True to form, the series is peppered with a range of the artist’s comedic illustration and type-based pieces. These include his brilliant News series that mock dramatic newspaper headlines with statements like: “Woman Spills Coffee”, “I Lost A Shoe” and “I Went Out For A While And Then I Came Back”; and a portrait titled Grey Hair is OK. It also features some of Shrigley’s more abstract pattern-based prints including his brick wall imagery.
Eventually, the power of colour is the main theme that this restaurant want to express. The India Mahdavi‘s restaurant/manifesto was launched in 2014 and the predominant colour was a Hollywood-style millennial pink. The tone made a striking contrast with the irreverent black and white drawings by the British artist David Shrigley on the walls. Today though the trenchant monochrome purity has gone, replaced on the pink backdrop by around a hundred new polychrome works by Shrigley.
It is a change that has completely altered the atmosphere of the restaurant, the beating heart of the celebrated Sketch in London’s Conduit Street – to the point that Mahdavi herself wanted to remodel the space to create a better setting for Shrigley’s new works. “For me, pink is more than a colour, it’s a mood,” the designer says. “Pink has become my flag – a way to express strength and fragility in one colour and in one space. Both have become iconic.”