In Meiro Koizumi's three-channel video installation, The Angels of Testimony (2019), the central frame features an interview with Hajime Kondo about his time as a solider of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The conversation centres on war crimes perpetrated in China, including the beheading of Chinese prisoners for...
Diana Campbell Betancourt is a curator working predominantly across South and Southeast Asia. Since 2013 she has been the founding artistic director of the Samdani Art Foundation and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a transnational art event that has grown in size and scale ever since its first edition in 2012. Backed by...
China, home to 802 million internet users, is subject to sophisticated online censorship. This shrouded state of affairs, unsurprisingly perhaps, serves to reinforce stereotypes around conformity elsewhere. Any realm, digital or otherwise, subject to such strict scrutiny must necessarily be bland and uncritical, right? I was mulling over such...
Victoria Miro is delighted to participate in FIAC (Stand B16) with a solo presentation of works from the 1980s to the present by Grayson Perry.
The presentation features rarely-exhibited works created in the years immediately after Perry first attended evening classes to learn pottery in London in the early 1980s. Examples on display include a number of press-moulded plates and dishes, each treated in a unique way with a variety of techniques–including papercut stencils, sgraffito drawing and stamped lettering–such as Portrait of My Soul (1984), and Goodbye Innocence (1984).
Other ceramic works on view–such as Whore of Essex (1986), Return me to Essex from where I come (1986), The Union of Essexmen (1988), and Essex, Middlesex, Sussex (1998)–reveal Perry’s ongoing fascination with aspects of his native county. Map of Essex (1990), namechecks the town of Perry’s birth, Chelmsford, along with the nearby villages of Broomfield and Bicknacre, where he lived as a child.
A later ceramic work, Newsreader (1990), features a recurring character from works of the period–a well-groomed powerful woman in her thirties. More recent examples include Visitor Figures (2016), a vase whose decoration is loosely based on The Art Newspaper visitor figures supplement and features a map of names, images and places that feature on the most popular exhibition lists. While Visitor Figures looks at the often conflicted relationship between artists and popularity, one of the most recent works on display, Stupid White Thing (2018), speaks to perceptions of good taste with its muted tones; meanwhile its transfer images are impressed with current buzzwords and hashtags.
In the recent large-scale tapestry Battle of Britain (2017), Perry creates a vista not dissimilar to the landscape of Essex that is also, in its composition, redolent of one of Perry’s favourite paintings, Battle of Britain (1941), by the British artist Paul Nash. The work thus weaves in personal references with those alluding to current conflicts within our society. Other tapestries include Red Carpet, whosetitle evokes the most formal of welcomes, yet whose style is influenced by Afghan war rugs.
Large-scale prints include Selfie with Political Causes (2018), a woodblock print depicting the artist riding a motorbike surrounded by slogans and phrases such as ‘Equality’, ‘Free Speech’ and ‘Global Warming’. Perry’s honest and candid unpacking of his own identity is part of what drives his appeal far beyond the confines of the art world. Putting himself, quite literally, at the centre of the work, in Reclining Artist he responds to the tradition of the reclining nude while revealing what he describes as ‘both an idealised fantasy and also the messy reality… my desire to be a sex object and also show off my cultural capital and boyish paraphernalia… Alan Measles, my teddy bear and metaphor for masculinity and god, appears as a sculpture, as an inflatable and on a dress hanging on the wall. The cat is called Kevin.’
Grayson Perry: Vanité, Identité, Sexualité at La Monnaie de Paris(19 October 2018–3 February 2019)
The first major presentation of Grayson Perry’s work in France, Vanité, Identité, Sexualité is divided into themed chapters that look at universal topics such as identity, gender, class, religion and sexuality, and features a range of work in mediums including ceramic, cast iron, bronze, printmaking and tapestry. The exhibition features a new publication, in which Perry puts pen to paper to shed further light on the subjects and issues he addresses in his work.
Born in Chelmsford, Essex in 1960, Grayson Perry lives and works in London. Recent institutional exhibitions include Grayson Perry: Folk Wisdon at Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (13 April–2 September 2018), produced in collaboration with La Monnaie de Paris museum, and Grayson Perry: Making Meaning, held at The Gallery at Windsor, Florida (15 January–27 April 2018). The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!, a major presentation of his work, was on view at Serpentine Galleries, London, during the summer of 2017, travelling subsequently to Arnolfini, Bristol (until 24 December 2017). Institutional venues for other recent national and international solo exhibitions include ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Aarhus (2016); Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht (2016); Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2015–2016) and Turner Contemporary, Margate (2015). In 2018, Perry coordinated The 250th Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. In 2011, The British Museum opened The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman, a critically acclaimed show in which Perry combined his own works with historical artefacts chosen from the vast British Museum collection. Other solo exhibitions include the Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg (2008); 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (2007); Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh (2006); Barbican Art Gallery, London (2002) and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2002).
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