Victoria Miro is delighted to participate in Frieze London (Stand C4) with a three-room presentation of works by Grayson Perry, Yayoi Kusama and Chantal Joffe. A new six-metre-high sculpture by Conrad Shawcross will be on display in Frieze Sculpture Park until 8 January 2017.
Ahead of his much-anticipated new book The Descent of Man, published by Penguin on 27 October 2016, the gallery will present a selection of works by Grayson Perry. The centrepiece is The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman, the original version of which was made for the eponymous exhibition at the British Museum in 2011 - 2012. The sculpture, a lavish cast iron tomb in the form of a ship encrusted with reliefs and artistic cargo based on or cast from objects in the collection of the British Museum, has been subsequently included in important exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan, ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Denmark, the Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, and Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. This is its first presentation in London since the British Museum exhibition.
New works include pieces created during the making of Perry’s 2016 Channel 4 series All Man, including The Digmoor Tapestry, a cartographical representation of the Digmoor Estate in Skelmersdale, and its companion piece, King of Nowhere, a cast iron fetish sculpture of a figure pierced with knives and scissors, festooned with bottle tops and surrounded by candles and miniature spirit bottles. Referring to these recent works as being like “altarpieces to parts of my society that aren’t talked about or articulated,” Perry creates a portrait of contemporary masculinity as being both fiercely territorial and somehow lost. Also on display are works made as part of Perry’s BAFTA winning Channel 4 series Who are You?, which was accompanied by a solo presentation of works on the theme of portraiture and British identity at the National Portrait Gallery in 2014 - 2015. A portrait in pot form, The Huhne Vase makes reference to former cabinet minister Chris Huhne’s fall from grace. Highlighting the importance that public figures display their vulnerability, Perry smashed the pot and then put it back together, repairing it in a way that celebrates its fragility by painting the cracks with gold leaf. I Am a Man is a patinated brass figure of a young female-to-male transsexual, Alex (Alexander White-Huggins). Obsessed as a child by JM Barrie’s creation Peter Pan, Alex is depicted by Perry in a pose echoing that of the statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. In a rare, white on black version of the etching A Map of Days, Perry portrays himself as a fortified town. To suggest the passage of time, he concluded each day spent working on the map by marking a point on the map with the date, while at its centre an open piazza represents an absence that Perry feels lies at the core of identity.
A selection of paintings from the series Hannah, Gertrude, Alice, Betty, Nadine, Golda, Susan, Claude, Nancy, Grace, Diane... by Chantal Joffe focuses on Jewish women who have made major contributions to twentieth-century art, literature, philosophy and politics, including Diane Arbus, Susan Sontag, Claude Cahun, Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein. Joffe conducted months of research to gather information and generate personal connections to each subject. Premiered at the Jewish Museum, New York, in 2015, the intimate portraits are charged with the artist’s technical, conceptual and emotional responses to these notable historical figures.
New and recent paintings by Yayoi Kusama include works from the artist’s important, ongoing series My Eternal Soul, in addition to examples of her iconic Infinity Nets. The presentation coincides with the opening of Yayoi Kusama: Dots Obsession at Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE, Yayoi Kusama: In Infinity at Helsinki Art Museum opens on 7 October. Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors opens at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C on 23 February. The exhibition includes her latest mirror room All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, which recently premiered at Victoria Miro as part of Kusama’s extensive solo exhibition during summer 2016.
Frieze Sculpture Park
Conrad Shawcross: Monolith (optic), 2016 5 October 2016 – 8 January 2017
A new six-metre-high sculpture by Conrad Shawcross goes on view in Regent’s Park to coincide with the unveiling earlier this month of the artist’s most ambitious public commission to date. The Optic Cloak is a major architectural intervention for the Greenwich Peninsula low carbon Energy Centre in south-east London. Itwas commissioned by Knight Dragon anddesigned in collaborationwith the architectural practice of C.F. Møller Architects. The work unites sophisticated engineering and complex optical research and draws on sources as diverse as maritime camouflage, Cubism and Op Art. Unveiled on September 21, the structure – 49 metres high by 20 metres wide and 3 metres deep – is both monumental and visually dynamic, utilitarian and beguiling, created in sympathy with the design and ethos of the Energy Centre while appearing continually to change in different lighting conditions and as viewers move around it. The Optic Cloak is a cultural partnership between Conrad Shawcross and Knight Dragon and was brokered by Futurecity.
Selected by Clare Lilley (Director of Programme, Yorkshire Sculpture Park), Frieze Sculpture Park 2016 comprises 19 new and historical works, set in the English Gardens between Frieze Masters and Frieze London. Following Frieze London, the works will remain on view until 8 January 2017.