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Grayson Perry

Jacky Klein


The definitive monograph on the Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry

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Grayson Perry, renowned for his ceramic vases decorated with shocking and unconventional imagery, has captured the public imagination like no other British artist since Lucian Freud or David Hockney. He shot to fame in 2003 when he won the prestigious Turner Prize, collecting the award wearing a lilac babydoll dress and red pumps. Perry’s hard-hitting yet exquisite work, which includes tapestry, prints, sculpture and drawing as well as pots, references his own upbringing and his life as a transvestite while also engaging with many issues, from war and religion to politics and sex.

In this first major monograph on the artist, now updated and expanded, writer and art historian Jacky Klein explores his work through a discussion of his major themes and subjects. A completely new chapter examines Perry’s fascination with pilgrimage, including many of his most renowned works, such as The Walthamstow Tapestry, The Westfield Vase, the cast-iron sculpture The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman, and the major tapestry cycle The Vanity of Small Differences, inspired by the satirical prints of William Hogarth.

Klein’s text is complemented by intimate and insightful commentaries on individual pieces by the artist himself, giving unique access to his imaginative world and creative processes. Over 175 of Perry’s works are illustrated, as well as a rich selection of the visual material that has inspired him, from Afghan war rugs, Sumatran batiks and medieval altarpieces to the paintings of Pieter Bruegel and the American Outsider artist Henry Darger.

With a fully up-to-date biography, bibliography and exhibition history, Grayson Perry continues to be the definitive book on one of the most popular and important artists of our time.

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'Clear, generous and insightful … In unravelling the mystique behind Perry, Klein shows why this unlikely artist is, in fact, most likely a national treasure'
Financial Times

'Lavish … Jacky Klein leads us into the warped world of this crossdressing potter with a keen intellect and a sharp social insight'
The Times

'A gorgeously splashy volume, spliced with sharp, sober commentary, and invaluable words from Perry himself'
World of Interiors

'Many if not all of the answers to the many, many questions Grayson’s spellbindingly unique work throws up'
Proper Magazine

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Further Details


Format: Paperback with flaps

Edition Type: Expanded and updated edition

Size: 29.5 x 23.5 cm

Extent: 288 pp

Illustrations: 374

Publication date: 4 March 2013

ISBN: 9780500290804

Contents List

Introduction • Mapping the World of Grayson Perry • 1. Beginnings • 2. Pottery and Aesthetics • 3. Class • 4. War and Conflict • 5. Sex and Gender • 6. Religion and Folk Culture • 7. Inner Landscapes • 8. The Art World • 9. Pilgrimage • Notes, Chronology, Exhibitions, Bibliography, Index

About the Author

Jacky Klein is an art historian, publisher and broadcaster specialising in 20th-century and contemporary art. She has presented and contributed to a range of radio and television programmes for the BBC, Bloomberg TV, Tate, the Art Fund and Christie’s, and has taught at a number of arts institutions including the Courtauld Institute, University College London, Christie’s Education and the Victoria & Albert Museum. She is co-author of What is Contemporary Art? A Children's Guide, also published by Thames & Hudson.