10 May – 6 July 2008

Gallery 1 – Unpopular Culture : Grayson Perry selects
from the Arts Council Collection

Grayson Perry
To see pictures of the 10th May Preview click here.

Grayson Perry: Unpopular Culture

Unpopular Culture

Click here to watch the video associated with the exhibition entitled, An interview with Grayson Perry by Plush Productions.

Premiering at the De La Warr Pavilion, celebrated British artist Grayson Perry will present a personal selection of photography, sculpture and painting from the Arts Council Collection.

The collection will include pieces from Paul Nash, L.S. Lowry, Henry Moore, Elinor Bellinghm-Smith, Victor Pasmore, Tony Ray-Jones, Martin Parr, Antony Caro, Lyn Chadwick, Eduardo Paolozzi, Elisabther Frink, Meg Rutherford, Frank Auerbach, Barbara Hepworth and William Turnbull.

Click here to visit more information on some of the works of art on display.

Grayson describes the collection below,

“The Arts Council Collection asked me to select a touring exhibition of works from their collections. The first time I trawled through the catalogues illustrating the 8, 500 pieces I found myself drawn to three distinct categories of art, figurative painting, bronze sculpture and documentary photography. What bound these three groups of work together were the period of their inception and a more ineffable sense of mood. On the whole, the works date from 1945 till about 1980. My title Unpopular Culture stems from a notion that unlike today, in Britain during this period, stories about art did not feature daily in the boradsheets or contemporary artists crop up frequently in gossip columns. A time perhaps when modern art was an even more rarefied activity, practiced and appreciated by other-worldly bohemians and intellectuals. The title also refers to a feeling that many artists then made art that could be characterised as subtle, sensitive, lyrical and quiet in contrast to today when much art can seem like shouty advertisments for concepts or personalities. As a group for me these works conjure a nostalgic picture of a post-war, pre-Thatcherite Britain, more reflective, more civic and more humane.”

Grayson Perry: Unpopular Culture

Grayson Perry (b.1960)
Head of a Fallen Giant 2007-08
Copyright the artist, 2008
Courtesy the Artist and Victoria Miro Gallery, London

Grayson Perry was catapulted into the public consciousness in 2003 when he won the Turner Prize for his delicate coil pots adorned with drawings and text that hid dark subject matters. Perhaps less well-known is Perry’s work as a curator. Unpopular Culture highlights this emerging aspect of Perry’s practice and offers a unique and personal view of the Arts Council Collection: the largest loan collection of modern and contemporary British art in the world.

Unsurprisingly for an artist who has always positioned himself on the margins of the art world, Perry has found himself drawn to art made ‘before British art became fashionable’. His selection features modern British paintings, sculpture and photographs that embody a quiet nostalgia and restraint. Rather than retreat into a world of rose-tinted romanticism, Perry presents an alternative view of British art, one that reassesses the boundaries between the radical, the conservative, and the radically conservative.

Winner of the 2003 Turner Prize, British artist Grayson Perry creates seductively beautiful pots that convey challenging themes; at the heart of his practice is a passionate desire to comment on deep flaws within society. The forms of the pots may be traditional, but Perry resolutely distances himself from the typical cannon of artistic ceramics. Rather he uses pots as narrative and figurative media, a round, curved surface for a bizarre or bitter story. The pots are covered in a kind of psychic collage replete with stark, expressionistic drawings, hand written text, stencilled lettering and photographs. A master of the incongruous juxtaposition, Perry scrawls savage satirical messages alongside sentiments of nostalgia for lost innocence. His work incorporates art history and the art world, consumer culture, scenarios of kinky sex and allusions to violence as well as images of himself, his family and his transvestite alter ego Claire.

Arts Council Collection Logo

A Hayward Touring exhibition from the Arts Council Collection, on behalf of Southbank Centre, London

Grayson Perry: Unpopular Culture

You can purchase a limited edition scarf designed by Grayson Perry to accompany this exhibition from the De La Warr shop.

For more information click here.