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Grayson Perry Monumental Exhibition in Sydney Shows the Entire Career of This Lover of the Vernacular

  • Grayson Perry exhibition gallery national home
  • Grayson Perry exhibition gallery national home
January 2, 2016

The last time we wrote about the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) was several months ago, when we heard that a major retrospective of Marina Abramovic’s lifework at the MCA in Sydney had been canceled. But, who knows? Hopefully it will eventually take place in the near future. However, there is always something interesting and exciting happening at Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, in Sydney. A monumental exhibition was opened in December 2015, in this amazing Sydney art space – Grayson Perry exhibition! Presented as part of the 2015-2016 Sydney International Art Series (the Sydney International Art Series brings the world’s most outstanding exhibitions to Australia, exclusively to Sydney, every summer), this Sydney-exclusive exhibition is the artist’s first major survey in the Southern hemisphere.

Grayson Perry exhibition
Left: Grayson Perry – _Alan Measles on Horseback_, cast iron.courtesy the artist and Victoria Milo, London, © Grayson Perry / Right: Gratson Perry – In Praise of Shadows, 2005, glazed ceramic, courtesy the artist and Victoria Milo, London © Grayson Perry

A Love of the Popular and Vernacular – The Art of Grayson Perry

Grayson Perry is one of the most prominent British painters and sculptors. Born in 1960 in Chelmsford, England, he began his artistic career at Braintree College of Further Education and then at Portsmouth Polytechnic, where he studied fine art. 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, favoring a more flamboyant, accessible aesthetic that blurs the division of high art and popular culture. Perry is probably best known for his wonderful ceramics, sculptures, drawings, prints and tapestries. He has always been an astute chronicler of contemporary life. By doing so, Perry infuses his artworks with a sly humor 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.

Grayson Perry exhibition
Grayson Perry – The Annunciation of the Virgin Deal, from the series The Vanity of Small Differences, edition of 6 plus 2 aps, courtesy the artist and Victoria Milo, London, © Grayson Perry

Grayson Perry: My Pretty Little Art Career

The title of Grayson Perry’s exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia is Grayson Perry: My Pretty Little Art Career. The visitors have an opportunity to see 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-meter 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 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.

Grayson Perry introduces ‘My Pretty Little Art Career’

Grayson Perry Exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

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. As Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE, Museum of Contemporary Art Director said: 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. So, this is truly a unique opportunity for Australians and those who find themselves around Sidney to visit this amazing exhibition. Grayson Perry: My Pretty Little Art Career was opened on December 10, 2015, and will be on view until May 1, 2016 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in Sydney.

Featured Images: Grayson Perry – Prehistoric Gold Public Alan Dogu, 2007, glazed ceramic, courtesy the artist and Victoria Milo, London, © Grayson  Perry; Grayson Perry – The Annunciation of the Virgin Deal, detail from the series The Vanity of Small Differences, edition of 6 plus 2 aps, courtesy the artist and Victoria Milo, London, © Grayson  Perry. All Images courtesy of MCA Sydney.