David Shrigley’s Signs at Anton Kern Gallery in Chelsea NYC
Three months ago the Chelsea gallery district was slammed by Sandy, with catastrophic flooding causing millions of dollars in damage, wrecking the area's infrastructure, and effectively shutting down the entire half-mile length of the cultural institution which, with its more than 400 separate art galleries, houses one of the largest and most important concentrations of contemporary art in the world.
We tend to treat the Chelsea gallery district as a single, massive art museum–with free admission!–in which the exhibitions change every few weeks, but on different schedules, so there's always something new to see.We love it, and go to wander around at least twice a month, popping in and out of places, sometimes disappointed, sometimes puzzled, but more often delighted, even thrilled, by what we find. All of which is why we were more than a little concerned that, post-Sandy, Chelsea wouldn't be regaining its energy, its vitality, for months to come, if ever again.
Chelsea Gallery District is Back!
But the great news is this: our two recent most recent visits seem to indicate that the Chelsea gallery district is back, with lots of a new exhibitions (they were 78 openings just last Thursday!), and pretty much everyone up and running once again. We're sure many galleries are still reeling from financial loss, and dealing with insurance and restorations, and there might be a shoe or two still to drop, but up front, from an art-lovers perspective, Chelsea is bustling and alive. Anyway, there are plenty of interesting exhibitions going on right now, but our favorite show this past Saturday was the return of the always clever David Shrigley with his new exhibition, now at Anton Kern gallery. David Shrigley's Signs features more than 25 different takes on communicating through the medium, most of the unexpected, slightly subversive messages delivered in the artist's inimitable, crudely-drawn style.
David Shrigley's Signs
Viewing David Shrigley Signs at Anton Kern is like wandering through a town located in some sort of alternate world. It seems familiar, but it's all a bit off. One sign reads "I Found a Shoe", another "Please Don't Help Me". A series of placards in the back gallery–perhaps our favorite part of the show; we'd LOVE to own like five of these and hang them next to each other somewhere–relate words of absurdist-wisdom such as "News: New Thing Found Yesterday", and "Sleep Sleep Sleep Please Go To Sleep". There are several cranky cats and a huge gong in the center of the room which, if you ask nicely, you can "play". There's a great neon sign for a restaurant desperate for a gimmick, "Backwards Burgers". Fun stuff, nicely executed.
David Shrigley Signs at Anton Kern
David Shrigley's Signs exhibition will be on view at Anton Kern through February 16. The Anton Kern Gallery is located on 20th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues, and is open on Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For more information about David Shrigley, visit Anton Kern online!
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