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George Shaw (b. 1966)
The Land of Nod Drawing - Elephant Man
graphite on paper
11¾ x 8⅜in. (29.7 x 21.1cm.)
Executed in 1999-2000

Wilkinson Gallery, London.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.

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Lot Essay

Shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2011, George Shaw is celebrated for his gritty depictions of suburban British culture. Executed in 1999-2000, shortly after his graduation from the Royal College of Art in London, The Land of Nod drawings relate to an exhibition of the same title conceived for the Lift Gallery in collaboration with fellow artist and then-flatmate John Strutton. The duo spent a number of days living in the gallery, creating an installation that reflected their memories of their childhood bedrooms. Kes reproduces the cover illustration of the 1969 Ken Loach drama of the same title, which tells the story of a working-class boy growing up in a Yorkshire mining town. The Elephant Man is a study of an 1889 photograph of Joseph Merrick, whose story became the subject of David Lynch’s cinematic classic in 1980. Both works bear witness to the meticulous hyper-realist draughtsmanship that would go on to define Shaw’s practice.

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