David Shrigley & Tal R: The Notebook

January 11 - February 17, 2024

Anton Kern Gallery is pleased to announce The Notebook, David Shrigley and Tal R’s first two-person exhibition together. Occupying the first and second floor galleries, the artist duo presents a combination of  new unique works on paper, which developed from their conversations and artwork exchanges over the past six months. The drawings in The Notebook exhibition are collaborations in spirit, and bear witness to their mutual admiration and longtime friendship. The idea for this exhibition arose from a collaborative sketchbook that the artists began working on in the mid-2000s. In Shrigley’s words:


“I first met Tal about 20 years ago in Copenhagen. At the time we were both showing at the same gallery there. Even though he was quite well known I wasn’t that familiar with his work but when I started to look at it I quickly grew to love it. He gave me a book of drawings done in biro that I still think is wonderful. He is able to tell stories using just pictures which is something that I can’t do very well. He is also a master of colour in his paintings which I am not: I think my favourite artists are those that can do things that I can’t. We have both also worked with the same printmaker around the corner from Tal’s studio on Nansensgade in Copenhagen (Michael Schaefer). As a result of this we have seen quite a lot of each other over the years.


In 2005 we started a sketchbook together. We passed it back and forth and made collaborative drawings. When we finished it we started another one. I think the sketchbooks remained in Tal’s studio for a few years. Then they lived in mine for a few years. Recently we remembered them and looked at them again. We are hoping to publish them somehow. When Tal needed a new gallery in New York he asked about Anton Kern who he thought would be a good fit. I agreed. I guess I did a bit of ‘matchmaking’ and here we are. The works for this show were intended to be a sort of conversation between us; each responding to the other’s work. The result, I guess, is the latest of many conversations we have had.” 


Within the exhibition - their latest collaboration - each drawing is executed by the hand of one artist: either David or Tal. The distinctive sequencing of works throughout the galleries allows the viewer to forgo their attachment to each artist’s particular language and consider the surprising connections that result from underlying formal and narrative elements. 

Installation Views