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September 8-11, 2022   Javits Center

Grayson Perry

Very Large Very Expensive Abstract Painting


Curator's Statement

Grayson Perry’s Very Large Very Expensive Abstract Painting (2020), presented by Victoria Miro (London, Venice) is related to his recent documentary broadcast on the polarized political and cultural fissures in American society. Produced for the UK's Channel 4, the artist traveled across the US on a custom-built motorbike he designed for the journey to instigate conversations about bridging the politics of division related to identity, race, money, and class with communities ranging from African-American businesspeople in Atlanta to farmers in Wisconsin.

About the Artist

Grayson Perry is a great chronicler of contemporary life, drawing us in with wit, affecting sentiment and nostalgia as well as, at times, fear and anger. In his work, Perry tackles subjects that are universally human: identity, gender, social status, sexuality, religion. Autobiographical references – to the artist’s childhood, his family and his transvestism – can be read in tandem with questions about décor and decorum, class and taste, and the status of the artist versus that of the artisan. Perry uses the seductive qualities of ceramics and other art forms to make stealthy comments about society, its pleasures as well as its injustices and flaws, and to explore a variety of historical and contemporary themes. He works with traditional media such as ceramics, cast iron, bronze, printmaking and tapestry, and is interested in how each historic category of object accrues intellectual and emotional baggage over time.