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Grayson Perry (British, b.1960)
LOT ID: 70687
Essex, 1984

Ceramic, glazed earhenware
11.8 х 13.8 in. (29.97 x 35.05 cm.)
Stamped, with a G on the verso and C on the recto.
Edition Unique
Lot description
In the work ‘Essex’, Grayson Perry looks back to his childhood in the Essex countryside to find his subject matter. The work depicts two nude figures – one male and one female - reclining in a classical pose set within a border that takes its form from the ancient Roman Fasces – the bound bundle of reeds surrounding an axe which symbolized the power and authority of the highest magistrate in the Roman political arena – the Consul. The work playfully alludes to the supposed sexual promiscuity of the Essex people but subtly couched in classical iconography and language.

The work is stamped with G on the verso and has been authenticated by the Victoria Miro Gallery, London.

British artist Grayson Perry is perhaps best known for his work in ceramics in which he creates classically shaped vases and dishes decorated with figures, objects and text, which stand within a tradition stretching back for centuries. Covered with scraffito drawings, handwritten and stenciled texts, photographic transfers and rich glazes, Perry's detailed pots are deeply alluring. Only when we are up close does the viewer start to absorb narratives that might allude to dark subjects such as environmental disaster or child abuse, and even then the narrative flow can be hard to discern.
His chosen topics include autobiographical images of himself, his transvestite alter ego Claire, and his family, as well as references to political events and an investigation of observed cultural stereotypes. Perry has the ability to make hidden comments on societal injustices and hypocrisies, and to explore a variety of historical and contemporary themes.

Born in Chelmsford, Essex in 1960, Grayson Perry lives and works in London. Perry was the winner of the 2003 Turner Prize, and has had major solo exhibitions at The British Museum (2011), Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg (2008), 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (2007), Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh (2006), Barbican Art Gallery, London (2002) and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2002). Perry has also curated three exhibitions, most recently the critically acclaimed Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman at the British Museum, London (2011-2012) Unpopular Culture, de la Warr Pavilion (then touring) (2008) and The Charms of Lincolnshire, The Collection, Lincoln (2006).

Perry is represented by the Victoria Miro Gallery, London.
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Essex by Grayson Perry
  • Essex by Grayson Perry
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