We Shall Catch it on the Beaches shows 12 works by Grayson Perry: 5 from our own collection and 7 new works that Perry created during the Corona pandemic. Bonnefanten presented a large retrospective Hold Your Beliefs Lightly by Perry in 2016 and has a number of top works by the artist in its collection, including the magnificent The Walthamstow Tapestry.

During the lockdowns, Perry and his wife Philippa created works around a theme, such as home, family or travel. They are wonderful artefacts of an abnormal time. Contemplations on the small, domestic life are juxtaposed with reflections on the Brexit and the pandemic. The new works are mixed with works from the Bonnefanten collection.


Erasmus Prize

The Praemium Erasmianum Foundation has awarded the Erasmus Prize 2021 to the British artist Grayson Perry. The theme of the Erasmus Prize this year is ´The power of the image in the digital era’. At a time when we are constantly bombarded with images, Perry has developed a unique visual language, demonstrating that art belongs to everybody and should not be an elitist affair. Perry receives the prize for the insightful way he tackles questions of beauty and craftsmanship while addressing wider social and cultural issues.

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Bonnefanten 2016, photo Peter Cox

Grayson Perry

One of the best-known British artists of today, Perry (b. 1960) employs a wide variety of techniques and materials. His works range from large woodcuts, tapestries and cast-iron sculptures to prints, dresses and even an entire house. In both challenging and charming the public, he often provokes humorous clashes between old and new, between acceptable and shocking. Perry calls himself “a tranny potter” and explores a climate in which people fear difference and retreat to the safe confines of their own group.

Perry also engages with public life beyond the walls of the museum and art gallery. He has written and presented documentary programmes about class, taste, masculinity and identity, and has written accompanying books. His unbridled interest in decoding materials and meanings prompted a crowdsourcing project during the Brexit debate in which he called on British people to submit images of beloved objects and subjects. The similarity between the submissions from the ‘remain’ and ‘leave’ camps inspired two vases entitled Matching Pair. They illustrate Perry’s ability to unite a divided public, showing us that art can be a platform for an open and inclusive debate.

Click here for more information about the Erasmus Prize.

Header images:
1 - Grayson Perry, We Shall Catch it on the Beaches (Detail), 2020
Ceramic, 60 x 36 cm, © Grayson Perry
Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro
2 - Grayson Perry, photo Chris McAndrew