Under the Hammer: Top Prices Paid for David Shrigley at Auction

Written by - MyArtBroker
Art Will Save The World by David ShrigleyArt Will Save The World © David Shrigley 2019
Joe Syer

Joe Syer, Head of Urban & Contemporary Art

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David Shrigley is renowned for his whimsical and naive approach to art, an approach which has defined him as a maverick among the Young British Artists. Shrigley's works have an illustrative quality, and are often characterised by block colours, quirky characters, and witty inscriptions. In the past year alone, Shrigley's work has made over $1 million worth of sales, making this a market to watch.

Here, we discuss Shrigley's most expensive works sold at auctions around the world to date:

Untitled (It's Ok) by David ShrigleyUntitled (It's Ok) © David Shrigley 2014

$44,100 for Untitled (It's Ok)

Untitled (It's Ok) is Shrigley's most expensive work sold at auction to date. The work is loaded with naive optimism, with the words "It's Ok" appearing at the centre of a bubblegum pink background. The cheerful work sold for $44,100 (£33,718), achieving much more than its high estimate of $6,000.

Untitled by David ShrigleyUntitled © David Shrigley 1998

£18,900 for Untitled

A slight diversion from Shrigley's typical style, Untitled is a gelatin silver print photograph of a humble teapot, snapped by the artist himself. In typical Shrigley fashion, this quaint photograph has been painted - or scribbled - over to partially conceal the photograph. The witty, Dada-inspired work was flogged at Sotheby's Made In Britain auction in March 2021, and fetched an impressive £18,900. Once again, the work achieved a much higher sum than its high estimate of £3,000.

My Rampage Is Over by David ShrigleyMy Rampage Is Over © David Shrigley 2019

£17,500-£12,741 for My Rampage Is Over

The next four spots on Shrigley's record price list are held by My Rampage Is Over, one of the artist's most recognised images. A blue elephant curls across the composition, like a children's book character, and is animated by the inscription: "I must rest. My rampage is over". The work was particularly popular at auction in 2021, always exceeding its high estimate. My Rampage Is Over achieved £17,500 at Christie's, £16,250 at Sotheby's, £15,120 and £12,741 at Phillips.

Sorry! by David ShrigleySorry! © David Shrigley 2012

$13,750 for Sorry!

Shrigley's unsettling Sorry! was sold at Rago Auctions on 15 June 2022, and achieved $13,750 (£11,396). Bidding started at $5,000, and surpassed the high estimate of $9,000, a testament to Shrigley's recent popularity and success at auction.

Untitled (I Am Listening) by David ShrigleyUntitled (I Am Listening) © David Shrigley 2020

£11,340 for Untitled (I Am Listening)

Untitled (I Am Listening) is typical of Shrigley's playful and facetious approach to printmaking. The hare's head is depicted in blue, with its long ears extending up the composition, alongside the inscription: "I am listening. But you don't make any sense". The tongue-in-cheek work was sold at Sotheby's Made in Britain auction in March 2022, and achieved £11,340.

Untitled (A Gap In The Clouds) by David ShrigleyUntitled (A Gap In The Clouds) © David Shrigley 2020

$15,120 for Untitled (A Gap In The Clouds)

Untitled (A Gap In The Clouds) reveals Shrigley's shrewd approach to language and imagery. With his suggestive text at the centre of the composition, Shrigley inspires the viewer's interpretation of the swirling abyss of dark blue that fills the work. The print was sold at Phillips on 22 April 2021, where it fetched $15,120 (£10,920).

My Artwork Is Terrible by David ShrigleyMy Artwork Is Terrible © David Shrigley 2018

£10,500 for My Artwork Is Terrible

Self-deprecating and satirical, My Artwork Is Terrible is one of Shrigley's most absurd works. Set against a black backgrounds are the words, "My artwork is terrible and I am a very bad person". Despite the troubling message contained in the work, it achieved £10,500 when it was sold at Tate Ward's Urban and Contemporary Art auction on 29 September 2021. The wry print achieved its £900 high estimate almost tenfold, and therefore speaks to the hold Shrigley's work has on the Contemporary Art market, even if Shrigley himself thinks it is terrible.

Untitled by David ShrigleyUntitled © David Shrigley 2012

£9,375 for Untitled

Playing with the traditional genres of still life and vanitas, Untitled invites the viewer to watch Shrigley's block green apple rot on its paper background. The work was flogged at Phillips' New Now auction on 11 April 2018, where it achieved £9,375.

Counter Editions by David ShrigleyCounter Editions © David Shrigley 2018

PY 1,000,000 for Counter Editions

This collection of four Shrigley prints was sold at SBI Art Auction Co, Ltd on 27 July 2019, at the auction house's Modern & Contemporary Art auction. The selected portfolio, consisting of four unique Shrigley works, fetched PY 1,000,000 (£7,424).

I Am Elegant, I Am Oh So Very Very Elegant by David ShrigleyI Am Elegant, I Am Oh So Very Very Elegant © David Shrigley 2021

£8,820 I Am Elegant, I Am Oh So Very Very Elegant

Across a blank white background, Shrigley's ruby red feline sits poised with its tail curving towards the frame of the print. The naive work was sold at Phillips on 20 January 2022, and achieved £8,820. Once again, the work exceeded its high estimate of £2,000. Over the past two years, in particular, Shrigley has cemented his position in the Contemporary Art market and his sales continue to grow as we enter 2023.

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