contemporary art

Grayson Perry

United Kingdom 1960

Sculpture, Performance Art, Printmaking, Ceramic Art

Grayson Perry
Grayson Perry
United Kingdom
September 4, 2016

Great chronicler and one of the most incisive commentators of the contemporary society and culture, Grayson Perry combines his subversive art with autobiographical references from his childhood and family to transvestite alter ego Claire, making distorted commentary on class, taste, consumerism, and art versus craft. Although works in various mediums, he is best known as a ceramicist who, besides traditional methods to create his pots, uses unusual techniques like embossing and photographic transfers, creating complex, animated surfaces. His sarcastic and psychologically composite narratives are in a total opposite to the conventional forms of the objects he makes, which is actually the most challenging incongruity of Perry’s work. Carrying the strong messages, his pots bring hidden comments on societal injustices and hypocrisies, questioning different historical and present-day themes. As a member of a Young British Artists generation, Perry’s approach has always differed from the theoretical strivings of his peers, focusing on more colorful and extravagant aesthetic that blurs the boundaries between high and popular culture.

 Modern media broadcast video news about Grayson Perry published on twitter. Grayson Perry is an artist who won a prize in 2016
Grayson Perry – Mad Kid’s Bedroom Wall Pot, 1996 (Left) / Aspects of Myself, 2001 (Right) – Images via and

Early Life and How Childhood Influenced Art of Grayson Perry

Grayson Perry was born in 1960 in Chelmsford, England. When he was seven years old, his father left the family which made the great impact on his whole life. He lived with his mother, stepfather, sisters and two stepbrothers. He early showed an interest in drawing and making models of planes which would later become the theme of his artworks. Hard family situation and violence that he suffered from his stepfather, forced him to retreat to his own world that sometimes involved his teddy bear toy which he adopted as the surrogate father figure. Until the late 1970’s when he was drawn into the Chelmsford punk scene, Perry was a conventional boy, interested in motorcycles and girls and even attended the school’s Combined Cadet Corps with the aim of training as an army officer. Having the tendencies to wear women’s clothes, during his teenage years he realized that he was a transvestite. Living with his father and stepmother, his unusual habit has not met with approval, and after he broke the promise that he would stop, they threw him out the home. Grayson Perry definitely decided not to go to the army, and following the advice of his teacher went to study art at Portsmouth Polytechnic where he received a BA in Fine Art in 1982. Perry’s first piece of pottery has been exhibited two years before his graduation, at the New Contemporaries show at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Becoming the part of the Neo Naturists group founded by Christine Binnie, Perry truly supported their strivings to revive the spirit of ‘60’s manifested through nudity life and occasional performances focused on body paint. Quitting every contact with his mother since 1990, Grayson Perry lived in squats until he met milliner Stephen Jones and musician Boy George and started to share the home with them.

Having tendencies to wear women’s clothes, during his teenage years Grayson Perry realized that he was a transvestite

 Grayson Perry is an artist who lives in London close to little gallery. You can see published perry's news in press on video and in media
Grayson Perry – The Agony in the Car Park, 2012 – Image via

From Pottery to Female Alter Ego and Popular TV Shows

Considering several ceramic traditions, such as Greek pottery and folk art, Grayson Perry creates complex surfaces, employing various techniques of glazing, incision, embossing, and photographic transfers which made him different from the simple pottery craftsman. Even more important is the fact that his aim is not to achieve a purely decorative effect, but to give meaning and encourage to contemplation, transforming the utilitarian object into the carrier of the complex social message. “I like the whole iconography of pottery. It hasn’t got any big pretensions to being great public works of art, and no matter how brash a statement I make, on a pot, it will always have a certain humility. For me the shape has to be classical invisible: then you’ve got a base that people can understand”[1]. Looking back on his childhood, Grayson Perry’s work is a reflection of his upbringing, the violence, and anger of his stepfather and lack of the male model at home. His distorted understanding of the family roles is depicted in his piece Using my Family (1998). On the other hand, Perry’s pots often contain sexually explicit imagery such as obscene sadomasochistic sex scenes or juxtapose most common decorative elements like flowers with weapons and war. Besides ceramics, he also works in printmaking, drawing, tapestries, sculptures, film, and performance.

Frequently appearing in public dressed in a women’s clothes, Perry described his female alter ego as “a 19th century reforming matriarch, a middle-England protester for No More Art, an aero-model-maker, or an Eastern European Freedom Fighter, a fortysomething woman living in a Barratt home, the kind of woman who eats ready meals and can just about sew on a button.”[2] Today, most of his dresses are made by his students at central Saint Martins, where he teaches a course in fashion. In 2015, along with FAT Architecture, Perry designed a holiday home in Wrabness, Essex, known as Julie’s House. Its unconventional form, inspired by follies, eccentric homes, shrines, and fairy tales was named after the local fictional character Julie May Cope. His series of tapestries made during his filming of his documentary All in the Best Possible Taste was inspired by Hogarth’s a Rake’s Progress, a tale about the young man who dissipates his inherited fortune and dies in the madhouse. Perry’s six tapestries follow the experiences of Tim Rakewell, included in his TV documentary show. Telling the story of class mobility, the artist strives to explain how social class in which we grow up influence our aesthetic taste. Mostly interested in politics of consumerism and the history of popular design, in this project, Perry processes the emotional investment people make in things they choose to live with.

Grayson Perry transforms the utilitarian object into the carrier of the complex social message

 Grayson Perry and perry's friend who work close with press must get the prize in 2016. They like to work in modern gallery. He is inspired by turner and miro
Grayson Perry – Julie’s House, 2015 – Image via

Exhibitions and Recognitions

Well known for major exhibitions such as the acclaimed Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman at the British Museum (2011 – 2012), in which he combined his own works with historical artefacts from the British Museum collection, Grayson Perry was the subject of an institutional tour in 2016 at Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, and ARoS Aarhus Art Museum. The major retrospective Grayson Perry: My Pretty Little Art Career was on view at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. Other projects include the permanent building A House for Essex, a collaboration with FAT Architecture situated in the North Essex countryside. The Arts Council Collection and British Council-led UK and international tour of The Vanity of Small Differences, Perry’s monumental suite of tapestries, was on display at the Pera Museum, Istanbul (2015). The making of these works was chronicled in his BAFTA-winning Channel 4 series In the Best Possible Taste. The artist has received a second BAFTA for a subsequent Channel 4 series broadcast in October 2014, Grayson Perry: 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, London (2014 – 2015). Perry’s previous exhibitions include solo presentations at Turner Contemporary, Margate (2015); the Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg (2008); Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh (2006); Barbican Art Gallery, London (2002) and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2002). Perry has curated the exhibitions Unpopular Culture, at the de la Warr Pavilion (2008) and The Charms of Lincolnshire, The Collection, Lincoln (2006). Winner of the 2003 Turner prize, Grayson Perry was elected a Royal Academician in 2012. The following year, he received a CBE in the Queen Victoria Birthday Honors List, and in 2015 was awarded the prestigious appointments of Trustee of the British Museum and Chancellor of the University of the Arts London[3]. In 2013 Perry delivered The Reith Lectures, BBC Radio 4’s annual flagship talk series by leading international thinkers, to widespread acclaim.

The artist is represented by Me Collectors Room, Berlin.

Grayson Perry lives and works in London.


  1. Anonymous. Grayson Perry, Wikipedia [September 4, 2016]
  2. Jones, W. Grayson Perry: Portrait of The Artist As a Young Girl, Vintage Books, 2007
  3. Anonymous. Grayson Perry’s Biography, Victoria Miro [September 4, 2016]

Featured image: Grayson Perry – Artist’s portrait – Image via

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Collection - From Shōhaku and Rosanjin to Anselm KieferYokohama Museum of Art, Nishi-ku, YokohamaGroup
2016Shape Benefit Art Auction and ExhibitionShape Gallery, LondonGroup
2016CERAMIX. Art et Céramique de Rodin à SchütteLa Maison Rouge, ParisGroup
2016Printed MatterEleven Fine Art, LondonGroup
2016Grayson PerryBonnefantenmuseum, MaastrichtSolo
2016Grayson Perry - Hold Your Beliefs Lightly ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, AarhusSolo
2015Grayson PerrySmall Differences - Pera Museum, IstanbulSolo
2015Grayson Perry – My Pretty Little Art CareerMuseum of Contemporary Art Sydney (MCA), Sydney, NSWSolo
2015Printed MatterEleven Fine Art, LondonGroup
2015chemins de traverseLe 6b, Saint-DenisGroup
2015The Violet Crab At DrafThe David Roberts Art Foundation, LondonGroup
2014SyriartPhillips, de Pury & Company, LondonGroup
2014Love StoryThe Anne & Wolfgang Titze Collection - Belvedere, ViennaGroup
2014Love Story – Sammlung Anne & Wolfgang Titze21er Haus, ViennaGroup
2014Grayson Perry - The Vanity of Small DifferencesBirmingham Museum & Art Gallery, BirminghamSolo
2014Grayson Perry - The Vanity of Small DifferencesLeeds Art Gallery, LeedsSolo
2013What am I doing here?Esbjerg Kunstmuseum, EsbjergGroup
2013Doki Doki. The Fascination Of Ceramics, The Excitement Of ArtMuseum of Modern Ceramic Art, Tajimi, GifuGroup
2013The System of ObjectsDeste Foundation for Contemporary Art, AthensGroup
2013Out Of FashionGl Holtegaard, HolteGroup
2013Hand Made: Long Live CraftsMuseum Boijmans van Beuningen, RotterdamGroup
2013Grayson Perry - The Vanity of Small DifferencesManchester Art Gallery, ManchesterSolo
2013Té con NefertitiIVAM - Institut Valencià d'Art Modern, ValenciaGroup
2013Labour and WaitSanta Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CAGroup
2013Adventures of truth - Painting and philosophyFondation Maeght, Saint-PaulGroup
2013Out of Fashion. Textile in International Contemporary ArtKUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art,AalborgGroup
2013British Museum Recent Acquisions: Arcimboldo to KitajBritish Museum, LondonGroup
2013Back to EarthHerbert-Gerisch Stiftung,NeumünsterGroup
2013Revisioning HistorySenior & Shopmaker Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2013Doki Doki. The Fascination Of Ceramics, The Excitement Of ArtThe Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyogo, Sasayama, HyōgoGroup
2012Transmitter Receiver: The Persistence of CollageThe New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, West MidlandsGroup
2012Shifting Paradigms in Contemporary Ceramics: The Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio CollectionMFAH - Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TXGroup
2012Arachnes ReturnScheublein + BAK, ZurichGroup
201210'000 StundenKunstmuseum des Kantons Thurgau, WarthGroup
2012Doki Doki. The Fascination Of Ceramics, The Excitement Of ArtMuseum of Contemporary Ceramic Art Shigaraki, ShigarakiGroup
2012To remind: works of memory and monumentMiddlesbrough Institute of Modern Art - MIMA,MiddlesbroughGroup
2012Transmitter Receiver: The Persistence of CollageThe Lightbox, Woking, SurreyGroup
2012Modern & Contemporary Art 2012Osborne Samuel, LondonGroup
2012Grayson Perry: The Walthamstow TapestryWilliam Morris Gallery, LondonSolo
2012Grayson Perry - Solo ExhibitVictoria Miro Gallery, LondonSolo
2012Encounter - KataraCultural Village Foundation, DohaGroup
2012Wonderful – Humboldt, Krokodil & Polke, Die Olbricht Collectionme Collectors Room Berlin,BerlinGroup
2012Cartografías contemporáneasCaixaForum Barcelona, BarcelonaGroup
2012ElevenEleven Fine Art, LondonGroup
2012Cartografías contemporáneasCaixaForum Madrid, MadridGroup
2012Tea with NefertitiMATHAF - Arab Museum of Modern Art, DohaGroup
2012Transmitter Receiver: The Persistence of CollageUsher Gallery, Lincoln, LincolnshireGroup
2011Let the Healing BeginIMA Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, QLDGroup
2011The Magic of Clay - Ceramics in contemporary artGl Holtegaard, HolteGroup
2011Drawing 2011 – Biennial FundraiserThe Drawing Room, LondonGroup
2011Transmitter Receiver: The Persistence of CollageMiddlesbrough Institute of Modern Art - MIMA, MiddlesbroughGroup
2011Government Art Collection: Selected by Cornelia Parker: Richard Of York Gave Battle In VainWhitechapel Art Gallery, LondonGroup
2011FaithSims Reed Gallery, LondonGroup
2011December ExhibitionEngland & Co, LondonGroup
2011CraftPertwee Anderson & Gold, LondonGroup
2011Vermessung der WeltKunsthaus Graz, GrazGroup
2010In the Company of AliceVictoria Miro Gallery, LondonGroup
2010Rude Britannia: British Comic ArtTate Britain, LondonGroup
2010Le Meilleur des MondesMUDAM - Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, LuxembourgGroup
2010East Wing Nine presents EXHIBITIONISM: The Art of DisplayCourtauld Gallery, LondonGroup
2010Banners of Persuasion - Demons, Yarns & Tales: Tapestries by Contemporary ArtistsJames Cohan Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2010Aware: Art Fashion IdentityRoyal Academy of Arts, LondonGroup
2010Shelter | 52 WeeksAlexander Dellal´s 20 Projects, LondonGroup
2010Objects of DelightQUAD Gallery, DerbyGroup
2010Collector’s Items No.2: High Drama: Works from the Collection of Hugo & Carla BrownThe Dutch Cultural Pop-Up Space, LondonGroup
2010Psychoanalysis: The Unconscious in Everyday LifeScience Museum, LondonGroup
2010Contemporary Eye: CrossoversPallant House Gallery, Chichester, West SussexGroup
2010Lebenslust und TotentanzKunsthalle Krems, KremsGroup
2010Summer exhibitionEngland & Co, LondonGroup
2009Unbounded: New Art for a New CenturyThe Newark Museum, Newark, NJGroup
2009British Subjects: Identity & Self-fashioning 1967-2009Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NYGroup
2009Grayson Perry - The Walthamstow TapestryVictoria Miro Gallery, LondonSolo
2009Faszination des Fremden: China - Japan - Europa - Hetjens-MuseumDeutsches Keramikmuseum, DusseldorfGroup
2009Artists of Conflicting Tales: Subjectivity (Quadrilogy, Part 1)Burger Collection, BerlinGroup
2009COLLAGE, LONDON NEW YORKFred [London] Ltd., LondonGroup
2009Medals of DishonourBritish Museum, LondonGroup
2009Sh[OUT]: Contemporary art and human rightsGoMA - Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, ScotlandGroup
2009A Picture of You? Identity in Contemporary British ArtMuseums Sheffield: Graves Gallery,SheffieldGroup
2008Dargerism: Contemporary Artists and Henry DargerAmerican Folk Art Museum, New York City, NYGroup
2008LoveLaing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon TyneGroup
2008History in the MakingMori Art Museum, TokyoGroup
2008Unpopular CultureDe La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on SeaGroup
2008COBRA TO CONTEMPORARYArtnews Projects, BerlinGroup
2008Other People: Portraits From Grunwald And Hammer CollectionsHammer Museum, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2008My Civilisation - Grayson Perry21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art - Kanazawa, KanazawaSolo
2008Grayson Perry - Solo ShowMUDAM - Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, LuxembourgSolo
2007The Neo NaturistsEngland & Co, LondonGroup
2007The Turner Prize: A RetrospectiveTate Britain, LondonGroup
2007100 Years of Fashion IllustrationFIG (Fashion Illustration Gallery), LondonGroup
2007(C)artography: Map-Making as ArtformCrawford Art Gallery, CorkGroup
2007Legends Altered - Maps As Method And MediumCarrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago, ILGroup
2006East Wing Collection No 7 Culture BoundCourtauld Gallery, LondonGroup
2006Designing TruthLehmbruck Museum, Duisburg Group
2006The Wonderful Fund - Collecting Art for the New MilleniumPallant House Gallery, Chichester, West SussexGroup
2006Eye on Europe - Prints, Books & Multiples, 1960 to NowMoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NYGroup
2006Damien Hirst & His ContemporariesAndipa Gallery, LondonGroup
2006Aspects Of Modern British Art 2006Austin Desmond Fine Art, LondonGroup
2006Grayson Perry - Solo ExhibitThe Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburg, PASolo
2006Grayson Perry - The Charms of LincolnshireVictoria Miro Gallery, LondonSolo
2006Material World - Sculpture from the Arts Council CollectionGoMA - Gallery of Modern Art,Glasgow, ScotlandGroup
2005Baroque and Neobaroque (The Hell of the Beautifull)DA2 - Domus Artium 2002, SalamancaGroup
2005Wonderful Fund CollectionMusée de Marrakech, MarrakechGroup
2005Bock mit Inhalt - Summer Exhibition 2005Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, AmsterdamGroup
2005Mixed-Up ChildhoodAuckland Art Gallery, AucklandGroup
2004Secrets of the '90s'Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem - MMKA, ArnhemGroup
2004HomelandSpacex, ExeterGroup
2004Extended PaintingVictoria Miro Gallery, LondonGroup
2004WheelingCell Project Space, LondonGroup
2004Transmission: Speaking and ListeningDOMOBAAL, LondonGroup
2003micro macro British Art 1996-2002Mucsarnok Kunsthalle, BudapestGroup
2003Turner Prize 2003Tate Britain, LondonGroup
2002ArtaidBloomberg Space, LondonGroup
2002Grayson Perry - guerilla tacticsStedelijk Museum Amsterdam, AmsterdamSolo
2002poTGaleria Fortes Vilaça, São PauloGroup
2000British Art Show 5Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, ScotlandGroup
1994New WorkAnthony d'Offay Gallery, LondonSolo