Visit London Blog » grayson perry Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 22 May 2015 17:44:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Grayson Perry: The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman at the British Museum Mon, 17 Oct 2011 14:00:11 +0000

Cross-dressing potter Grayson Perry has taken over part of the British Museum for his new exhibition, The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman. When I was invited along to a private view, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Perry introduced the show, saying that it was “a lifetime’s ambition, a chance to find myself in the museum”, adding “I hope people see the museum through my eyes”.

The exhibition features new work by Perry, including a magnificent tapestry; a customised motorbike complete with teddy bear, described by Perry as “a harsh ride” due to its lack of suspension; and a vase representing the different reasons people visit the British Museum (“I wandered in” and “I came to be outraged”).

Interspersed between Perry’s works are objects from the British Museum collection specially selected by the artist, from ancient badges collected by pilgrims, to a phallic statue that was believed to bring good luck.

At the centre of the exhibition is a splendid coffin ship, a memorial to all the unnamed craftsmen that have created objects housed in the British Museum.

“It’s Grayson’s appropriation of the whole of the museum to frame his creative work,” explained British Museum director Neil MacGregor. “It’s something nobody has done before.”

Speaking to a crowd of trendy Frieze Art Fair patrons, Perry seemed far more excited by the prospect of school kids enjoying the show than he was about the opinions of art critics and dealers. “I’ve heard that the average age of visitors is 12,” he said with glee.

This down-to-earth attitude has made Perry popular among the museum’s staff. According to MacGregor, “no curator in the museum has won more affection than Grayson”.

So that’s two reasons why you should visit the exhibition: it’s a fascinating show created by a thoroughly nice chap.

Grayson Perry: The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman is at the British Museum until 19 February 2012

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Autumn Art Exhibitions in London Wed, 05 Oct 2011 10:29:08 +0000

The leaves are turning brown, the weather’s getting chillier and it’s time for a bumper crop of autumn art exhibitions in London.

Two major shows open this week: the British Museum’s Grayson Perry exhibition, which combines new work with objects chosen by Perry from the museum’s collection, and Tate Modern’s retrospective of Gerhard Richter, marking the German artist’s 80th birthday.

Tacita Dean’s installation for The Unilever Series is unveiled in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall on 11 October. Chinese artist Ai Weiwei covered the hall in ceramic sunflower seeds for last year’s commission. We can’t wait to find out what Dean has in store!

Frieze Art Fair returns to Regent’s Park in mid-October, bringing together 170 of the best art dealers from around the world, along with arty talks, films, music, installations and a sculpture park.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year returns to the Natural History Museum, displaying the best wildlife images chosen from 41,000 submissions. And then, in November, one of this year’s most anticipated exhibitions opens: Leonardo da Vinci at the National Gallery, which is sure to be another London blockbuster.

Which London exhibitions are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below.

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GSK Contemporary – Aware: Art Fashion Identity Wed, 19 Jan 2011 16:19:59 +0000 Grayson Perry Artist's Robe 2004 Embroidered silk brocade, leather, printed linen and ceramic buttons 179 x 70 cms / 70 1/2 x 27 1/2 inches © Grayson Perry Courtesy the Artist and Victoria Miro Gallery, London

Aware: Art Fashion Identity exhibition at GSK Contemporary explores how our identities are tied up with the clothes we wear. The exhibition included work by well known artists and designers including Grayson Perry, Maison Martin Margiela, Yoko Ono, Hussein Chalayan, Cindy Sherman and Alexander McQueen.

The art and identity parts of the exhibition were fascinating. Work by artists who use clothes to consider politics, race and religion made for thoughtful viewing, and the garments which blurred the boundaries between clothes and buildings formed one of the most interesting parts of the exhibition.

Some of the most interesting exhibits were videos – Gillian Wearing‘s Sixty Minute Silence featured a group of people dressed in police uniforms posing for a formal photo for 60 minutes. Initially the people are uniform in their behaviour but gradually they begin to fidget and reveal their personalities.

I also enjoyed the photos of Claudia Losi‘s Les Funerailles de la Baleine – a full size stuffed toy whale made from cashmere suiting which was then photographed, toured galleries round the world and deconstructed into garments.

GSK Contemporary – Aware: Art Fashion Identity is on until 30 Jan. Adult £7, child £4, concession from £5.

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Grayson Perry: The Walthamstow Tapestry Tue, 20 Oct 2009 17:16:24 +0000 The Walthamstow Tapestry by GraysonPerry

If you’ve never been before, now’s an excellent time to visit the Victoria Miro gallery. A little off the beaten track, but more than worth the effort, this bright and airy space is one of the largest and most interesting commercial art galleries in London.

Designed specifically for the Victoria Miro, The Walthamstow Tapestry is maverick potter Grayson Perry’s largest work to date. Three metres high by fifteen metres long, the tapestry is shown with a number of new ceramic works – which I think are extraordinary. How anyone can pack so much information, imagery, attitude and beauty into the surface of a gentle ceramic is a total wonder.

The tapestry explores the insane, quasi-religious adoration of consumerism and is vibrant and colourful. Apparently, Grayson was inspired by antique batik fabrics from Malaysia and eastern European folk art. The work is busy with depictions of people doing ordinary things – shopping, ironing, walking the dog etc. and almost every inch of the tapestry is devoted to brands. At Victoria Miro until 7 November 2009.

Grayson Perry will be talking to Will Self about his work and influences at the British Library on 9 November. For booking details, please visit the British Library’s website.

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Museum of Everything: A Treasure Trove in Primrose Hill Mon, 12 Oct 2009 16:34:56 +0000 Nek Chand, Cloth Figures, c. 1980

Celebrity-filled Primrose Hill will soon have a new attraction: the quirky Museum of Everything.

Located down a side street in a former dairy and recording studio, the Museum of Everything is well worth seeking out.

Set up by collector James Brett, the museum is a showcase for art created outside the mainstream.

There are works by disabled artists, eccentrics, and people who feel the need to create things for their own reasons.

There is a celebrity connection too: much of the work is endorsed by celebs ranging from Jarvis Cocker and Nick Cave to Grayson Perry and Peter Blake.

You enter through what looks like the door of a tower block, to find yourself in a cosy cafe, where you can buy tea served in mis-matched cups and saucers.

There’s also a shop, in the style of the big museum shops, selling Museum of Everything merchandise.

The gallery spaces range from a cavernous warehouse to a small, dark room styled to look like a chapel.

Highlights include colourful figures by Indian roadworker Nek Chand, disturbing fairytale illustrations by American recluse Henry Darger (David Byrne is a fan), and weird pre-teen mannequins by amateur sculptor Morton Bartlett (selected by Turner Prize-winner Grayson Perry).

There’s also a series of talks and events featuring art world luminaries like Jarvis Cocker and Serpentine Gallery director Hans Ulrich Obrist.

The museum falls into the “pop-up” category. When I visited the organisers weren’t sure exactly how long it would be open for, but hoped it would be there until Christmas.

Make sure you check it out while you can!

The Museum of Everything opens on 14 October. Entrance is free.

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