Grayson Perry Tapestries at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
10th December 2013
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is proud to be the first venue in the Midlands to present ‘The Vanity of Small Differences’ by Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry. The exhibition, open 14 February – 11 May 2014 is comprised of a series of six large tapestries (2m x 4m) which tell the story of class mobility and the influence social class has on our aesthetic taste.
Inspired by William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress, the six tapestries chart the “class journey” made by the fictional Tim Rakewell and include many of the characters, incidents and objects that Grayson Perry encountered on his own journeys through Sunderland, Tunbridge Wells and the Cotswolds for the television series ‘All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry’.
In the television series Perry went “on a safari amongst the taste tribes of Britain”, to gather inspiration for his artwork, literally weaving the characters he meets into a narrative, with an attention to the minutiae of contemporary taste every bit as acute as that in Hogarth’s 18th century artworks.
Lisa Beauchamp, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery comments; “We’re sure this magnificent display will be really popular with our visitors, and it demonstrates Birmingham Museum Trust’s ongoing commitment to celebrate and showcase the very best in contemporary art.”
Jill Constantine, Acting Head, Arts Council Collection stated “The Vanity of Small Differences” has attracted huge public interest and we’re delighted that the people of Birmingham will now have the opportunity to see these extraordinary tapestries for themselves”.
Other contemporary art exhibitions showing at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery in early 2014 include ‘For the Record’, opening 27 January, exploring themes of preservation and recording in the work of female artists. This show will mark the re-opening of Birmingham Museum Trust’s Waterhall gallery and will include a unique selection of works from Birmingham’s modern and contemporary art collection, combined with significant loans from the Arts Council Collection by high-profile artists such as Alice Channer and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. In addittion, ‘New Art West Midlands’ opens 14 Feb - 18 May 2014 and showcases exciting new work by the best artists graduating from art schools in the West Midlands.
The Vanity of Small Differences has been acquired for the Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London and the British Council. Gift of the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery with the support of Channel 4 Television, the Art Fund and Sfumato Foundation with additional support form AlixPartners.
The UK tour of the tapestries is supported by the Art Fund and the Sfumato Foundation.
The tour of ‘The Vanity of Small Differences’ will continue to:
Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool (23 May – 10 August 2014)
Temple Newsam House, Leeds (23 August – 5 December 2014)
An international tour will follow supported by the British Council.
Entry to the exhibition is free of charge (activities and events may incur an additional charge) and open daily (Monday - Thursday 10.00am – 5.00pm, Friday 10.30am – 5.00pm, Sat & Sunday 10.00am - 5pm)
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