Grayson Perry: The Most popular Art Exhibition Ever!
Exhibition Catalogue published on the occassion of Grayson Perry's solo Exhibition
Conceived in parallel to Grayson Perry’s exhibition The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!, this catalogue brings together visual material and texts that expand on the themes raised in the show.
Perry is one of the most astute commentators on society and culture working in Britain today and his work provokes and delights in equal measure, providing both autobiographical insights and sharp observations of others. For his Serpentine Gallery exhibition, titled The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!, Perry has created a new series of works investigating concerns that are being discussed at present, both nationally and internationally. The concept of popularity as it applies to celebrity, the role of the artist, political beliefs and the place of the art institution are all addressed in this show, alongside themes of masculinity and national identity in the wake of the Brexit vote.
This publication contains images of Perry’s latest works - including his much-discussed 'Leave' and 'Remain' pots (Matching Pair, 2017), as well as works inspired by his recent TV series All Man (2016) - along with short descriptions written by Perry which provide further insight into his thinking, his references and his inspirations. Pages from Perry’s personal sketchbooks are also reproduced in this catalogue and trace the development of his artworks. Perry’s work invites us to look again at the things we think we know.
This catalogue opens with an essay written by Perry in which he elaborates on the idea of popularity, focusing in particular on its fraught relationship with contemporary art. He discusses what we mean when we talk about popular art and reflects on our cultural and political choices, artistic taste, and individual as well as national identity. Perry’s essay also questions the position of the artist and whether the ways in which we measure their success has been active in ‘the decreasing value of the rebellious stance.’
The catalogue also includes a contribution from Sandi Toksvig which is an insightful response to Perry’s work and his unique investigation of popularity as the focus of political debate. Toksvig explores the notion of the ‘psychology of crowds’ - how popularity is generated, especially within politics, and shaped by the media. In her essay she speaks about the richness of detail and multiplicity of layers of information so specific to Perry’s work which encourage us to look twice, and perhaps make our own individual judgments.
Particular Books and The Serpentine Galleries