David Shrigley’s “Memorial”

An aerial view of Central Park on a sunny day.

Image: Central Park | Shutterstock

David Shrigley has a reputation for art that is usually a joking riff on everyday themes. Like a pair of rebar lovers coupling on a car hood, or a Darth (Dar) Vader mask with huge googly eyes. But much of his art has meaning just below the surface, like his large quilted lettuce leaf pocked with cigarette burns – an ode to the many women who have had to make dinner and do first aid on themselves at the same time.

MEMORIAL, the Shrigley piece earmarked for Central Park this fall, falls between these on the meaningful spectrum. Memorial will be a 17-foot-tall slab of granite, memorializing the most every-day of scraps, the shopping list.

“A 2016 grocery list is different than one written just a few decades ago. Its ephemerality, including the fact that it is often written on a scrap of paper or a smartphone, is in sharp contrast with Shrigley’s selection of material—a solid slab of granite—on which to engrave these banal words,” explained Emma Enderby, Public Art Fund associate curator. The Public Art Fund of NYC is who chose to erect MEMORIAL.

MEMORIAL is not a new work by Shrigley, strictly speaking. It is a sized-up version of his 2008 sculplture Gravestone, with a few variations.

The sculpture will go up the Doris C. Freedman Plaza in Central Park on September 8, with no planned end date. Fans of Shrigley can see his work in the same month at his exhibition “David Shrigley: Life Model II” at the Rose Art Museum in Massachusetts.

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