press release

David Shrigley "Fish, frogs, men"

It is a great pleasure for Galleri Nicolai Wallner to present "Fish, frogs, men", an exhibition with etchings, woodcuts and silkscreen by David Shrigley. The exhibition includes four series and one single print by David Shrigley published by Galleri Nicolai Wallner during the last 6 years. Shrigley's new animation "Who I am and what I want" will also be screened during the exhibition. The animation has recently won awards at several prestigious venues including Rotterdam Film Festival.

David Shrigley works with drawing, animation, photography and sculpture. His work is marked by a bleak humour that below the surface reveals thoughtful truths about the human condition. The works - at times seemingly frustrated or bordering the absurd - comment either Shrigley's own life or our world in general. Social indignation plays no small part in the creation of the works or in the way that the artist sees his role within society.

The etchings and woodcuts are done in a way that at first glance looks casual or even awkward. However the marked lines and expressive arrangement of forms point to a very conscious way of working within certain aesthetic boundaries. The works are created from a process of reduction - the end result comparable to that of a sign in its lack of anything superfluous. It communicates its meaning through the simplest of means - all the more effective due to the immediate way it is read.

For the new series Shrigley has utilised different techniques including woodcut, silkscreen, etching, aquatint, and differently sized printing plates. Each of the techniques adds an own peculiar mood and texture to the works. The woodcuts are harsh in their direct imagery. The etchings focus on detail and narrative.

David Shrigley has shown extensively at galleries and museums in Europe and America including solo shows at Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain (Geneva), UCLA Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), and Kunsthaus Zürich. The series of 22 woodcuts is in the permanent collection of MOMA New York and will be part of the exhibition "Eye on Europe: Prints, Books & Multiples, 1960 to Now" at opening in October 2006.


Peter Land "The First Day at School"

It is a great pleasure for Galleri Nicolai Wallner to present the exhibition "The First Day at School" with new drawings by the Danish artist Peter Land.

Peter Land, internationally recognized for his important video works from the early the nineties, has recently worked with large scale sculptures, drawings and watercolors. Artistically Land takes as starting point the artist's body and mind, revealing a vulnerable reflexion of the self and alienation. In his works he centers on fundamental feeling of being different and alone, using humor to draw attention to these serious problems of the modern human existence.

The exhibition "The First Day at School" consists of a series of ten drawings with awkward and gawky children. The drawings present well-known figures; a boy with braces on his teeth, a child with snotty nose and a nervous squint-eyed girl. The works evoke memories of traumatic experiences from the schoolyard. Most people recognize the feeling of sometimes being insecure and maladjusted, but for these children it's a more or less a permanent state of mind.

Though on the surface grotesque or humorous, Peter Land's work contain a melancholic pondering over basic existence. Rather than functioning as caricatures the drawings invoke a great deal of empathy for the children.

"At the Lake" is a large-scale black and white watercolour, which presents a boy sitting at the shore of a small forest lake. At the other shore a strange human figure, with almost dissolved outlines, is situated. The two are spatially divided by the lake, but might also represent different stages in life. The work explores the forming of identity and consciousness in adolescence. The lake acts both as a reflection pool and a metaphor for the unknown.

Last year Peter Land was one of the five artists who were chosen to represent Denmark at the Venice Biennale. Land has exhibited widely at galleries and museums in Europe. He has had solo shows at various prestigious institutions including Fundación Miró (Barcelona), Musée d'art moderne et contemporain (Geneve) and The National Gallery of Denmark (Copenhagen). In June he will present a new installation project at Art Unlimited, Art Basel.


David Shrigley & Peter Land