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.

Potrait of Grayson Perry, by Chris McAndrew

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. 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.

Grayson Perry, Foto: Chris McAndrew

Grayson Perry, The Walthamstow Tapestry, 2009. Photo Peter Cox

Grayson Perry, Bonnefanten 2021

On the occasion of the award of the prestigious Erasmus Prize 2021 to British artist Grayson Perry, the Bonnefanten presents We Shall Catch it on the Beaches, a tribute to this exceptional artist. Perry's top pieces from the Bonnefanten collection are shown together with new work that was created during the pandemic. These recent and topical works of art were part of the popular British TV programme Grayson’s Art Club.

The programme aired during the lockdowns in Britain and provided a hopeful and enlightening break from the constant stream of disturbing news. In Grayson's Art Club, Grayson and Philippa invited viewers to create and send their own art to the programme. The works that were submitted, and the often moving stories behind them, connected the audience with the artist and with each other.

Grayson Perry, Alan Healing the Wound, 2021

Grayson Perry, We Shall Catch it on the Beaches, 2020

In each episode, Grayson and his wife Philippa also created an artwork around a theme, such as home, family or travel. Reflections on the small, domestic life are alternated with reflections on Brexit and the pandemic. One of the new works created by Grayson Perry himself is We Shall Catch it on the Beaches. A colourful vase covered with visual reflections of the British people during the corona pandemic.


Grayson Perry, We Shall Catch it on the Beaches, 2020 Ceramic, 60 x 36 cm, © Grayson Perry Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

Grayson Perry, We Shall Catch it on the Beaches (detail), 2020 Ceramic, 60 x 36 cm, © Grayson Perry Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

We see famous British figures, such as Queen Elizabeth and Chris Witty. It is also a sharp take on social hypocrisy, as the phrase "Fair pay for key workers apart from our cleaner, oh and the nanny" demonstrates. The title of the vase refers to a speech during World War II, We Shall Fight on the Beaches, by Winston Churchill in 1940. And the shape of the vase refers to a flagon, a robust medieval jug widely used in Britain at the time.



Grayson Perry, We Shall Catch it on the Beaches (detail), 2020 Ceramic, 60 x 36 cm, © Grayson Perry Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

The Bonnefanten has an enduring and warm relationship with Grayson Perry. Many still remember the successful exhibition Hold Your Beliefs Lightly that the museum organised in 2016. Now, with We Shall Catch it on the Beaches, we are once again putting Grayson Perry in the spotlight. Perry's masterpieces from the Bonnefanten collection are on display, along with his new work that was created during the pandemic.

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Grayson Perry, A Dream of England, 2021. Cast iron approximate: 103 x 31 x 30 cm © Grayson Perry Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

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Grayson Perry: We Shall Catch it on the Beaches

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.

View our collection of works by Grayson Perry

GRAYSON PERRY

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.

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

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