The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) today kicks off a major exhibition of works by Grayson Perry, one of Britain’s most acclaimed contemporary artists and winner of the 2003 Turner Prize. ‘My Pretty Little Art Career‘ is presented as part of the 2015-2016 Sydney International Art Series and this Sydney-exclusive exhibition will be Perry’s first major survey in the Southern hemisphere.
With a keen eye for detail and a love of the popular and vernacular, Grayson Perry is known for his ceramics, sculptures, drawings, prints and tapestries. An astute chronicler of contemporary life, he infuses his artworks with a sly humour and reflection on society past and present. Various themes are explored through Perry’s multi-faceted practice including the history of taste and social class in Britain, religious and folk iconography, and representations of gender and sexuality.
MCA Director, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE, said that: ‘Grayson Perry is one of best known British artists of his generation. With his strong commitment to audiences and his media presence, Grayson’s appeal extends beyond the art world. It is exciting to be welcoming him and his work to Sydney for the first time in the region.’
The artist’s highly decorated ceramic pots in particular reveal a panoply of imagery ranging from the highly personal to the political, their subjects including his own childhood and family, the art world, Biblical stories, the Royal family, and images of warfare and sexual fantasy. Embellished with photographic transfers, graffito drawing and text, they draw viewers in with their unique combination of pathos and wit.
Perry’s transvestism and feminine alter ego Claire – described by the artist as ‘a central plank of [his] creative drive’ – emerges through his practice as a recurring visual motif.
A contemporary of the YBA (Young British Artists) generation, he has forged a distinctive career that sits apart from the cooler theoretical approach of some of his peers, favouring a more flamboyant, accessible aesthetic that blurs the division of high art and popular culture.
Curated by MCA Chief Curator Rachel Kent, the exhibition will introduce the full spectrum of Grayson Perry’s practice from the late 1980s to the present. It encompasses a diverse and comprehensive selection of the artist’s ceramic works, sculptures in iron and bronze, prints and drawings, and his ambitious, large-scale tapestries including the fifteen-metre Walthamstow Tapestry (2009) and the six-part tapestry cycle The Vanity of Small Differences (2012), created by Perry alongside his acclaimed Channel 4 television series In the Best Possible Taste. The exhibition is contextualised by a selection of photographs and costumes, as well as sketch books and video documentation.
Grayson Perry will be present for the opening events, delivering a keynote lecture to introduce his exhibition.
After you have enjoyed the culcha, treat yourself to a GnT in the eccentric English-style MCA’s pop up Gin Garden, opened to coincide with the Grayson Perry exhibition. Read all about it here.
Tickets on sale at mca.com.au: Adult $20 Concession $15 Family $50 Youth $10 Children (under the age of 12) FREE
Follow Grayson Perry on Twitter: @alan_measles
Banner image: Grayson Perry, Comfort Blanket, 2014, from the series The Vanity of Small Differences, tapestry, edition of 9 plus 3 Aps, courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro, London, © Grayson Perry