Unseen artwork by Grayson Perry to star in new exhibition

Artist Grayson Perry. Picture: Channel 4

Artist Grayson Perry. Picture: Channel 4 - Credit: C4

Previously unseen work by celebrated artist and social commentator Grayson Perry will be the star of a new exhibition.

Artist Grayson Perry. Picture: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA/WPA ROTA

Artist Grayson Perry. Picture: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA/WPA ROTA - Credit: PA

Early pots, plates and sculptures created by Grayson Perry from 1982 to 1994 are on show at the Sainsbury Centre on the grounds of the University of East Anglia from February 6 - May 16.

Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years charts his progress to his journey into the mainstream London art scene and provides a snapshot of Britain at the time.

A 1985 self portrait ceramic piece by Grayson Perry. Picture: Grayson Perry/Victoria Miro/Nicholas M

A 1985 self portrait ceramic piece by Grayson Perry. Picture: Grayson Perry/Victoria Miro/Nicholas Moss - Credit: Grayson Perry/Victoria Miro

Today, Perry and his instantly-recognisable alter-ego, Claire, is popular in the art world thanks to his distinctive tapestry, collage and ceramic works that often explore themes of gender, identity and social class.

He is also well-known as a witty social commentator on television and in print.

An early ceramic plate by Grayson Perry. Picture: Grayson Perry/Victoria Miro/Peter Gordon-Stables

An early ceramic plate by Grayson Perry. Picture: Grayson Perry/Victoria Miro/Peter Gordon-Stables - Credit: Grayson Perry/Victoria Miro/Pete


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The artist said: “This show has been such a joy to put together. I am really looking forward to seeing these early works again many of which I have not seen since the 80s. It is as near as I will ever get to meeting myself as a young man, an angrier, priapic me with huge energy but a much smaller wardrobe.”

His pots made during his early career have been reunited for the first time following a public appeal in 2018 by Perry and The Holburne Museum in Bath, where this exhibition first opened in January 2020.

An early ceamic piece by Grayson Perry called Essex Plate. Picture: Grayson Perry/Victoria Miro/Josh

An early ceamic piece by Grayson Perry called Essex Plate. Picture: Grayson Perry/Victoria Miro/Josh Murfitt - Credit: Josh Murfitt

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Dr Chris Stephens, director of the Holburne, who came up with the idea of the exhibition, said: “I was delighted when Grayson liked the idea of bringing together his earliest works as they had never been displayed together before. We were thrilled with the range of irreverent, witty, and downright explicit artworks that came together to form the show. It is a fantastic celebration of Grayson’s work.”

MORE: What is Norwich’s best building?Ghislaine Wood, acting director of the Sainsbury Centre, said: “We are thrilled to be hosting this exhibition which brings together such a large collection of previously unseen works by one of Britain’s most recognisable and innovative artists.”

An early piece of art work by Grayson Perry made in 1988. PIcture: Grayson Perry/Victoria Miro

An early piece of art work by Grayson Perry made in 1988. PIcture: Grayson Perry/Victoria Miro - Credit: Grayson Perry/Victoria Miro

The exhibition pieces will shine a light on Perry’s experimentation and exploration of the potential of pottery to address radical issues and human stories.

Tickets for Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years cost £12/£11 concessions are on sale from December 1.

A ceramic vase made by Grayson Perry in 1989. PIcture: Grayson Perry/Victoria Miro

A ceramic vase made by Grayson Perry in 1989. PIcture: Grayson Perry/Victoria Miro - Credit: Grayson Perry/Victoria Miro

Visit www.sainsburycentre.ac.uk or call 01603 593199.

The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Picture: Kate Wolstenholme

The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Picture: Kate Wolstenholme - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

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