New works by Grayson Perry to go on show in Manchester

  • 19 November 2010

Two major new works by Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry are to go on show in Manchester in the New Year. They have just been bought for Manchester Art Gallery's permanent collection.

We gave £24,025 to help the Gallery buy one of Perry’s most recent ceramic vases, Jane Austen in E17, and one of his first major etchings, Print for a Politician. The MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund also contributed vital funds alongside two Manchester-based families, the Goldstone and Livingstone Family Trusts.

Jane Austen in E17 (2009) is a large ceramic vase inspired in shape by Chinese porcelain, decorated with detailed drawings of elaborately dressed Georgian ladies taking tea and conversing. The drawings refer to the ideal view of British culture portrayed in popular costume dramas of Jane Austen’s novels. In contrast, the vase incorporates cuttings from celebrity magazines. It also includes more sinister images of crime and surveillance, taken from the streets around Perry's studio in London's E17.

Print for a Politician (2005) took over a month to draw. It shows groups of people including academics, fundamentalists, northerners, parents and transvestites in a landscape setting, each group given a name, like a place name on an old map. All the groups are armed for battle, with weapons of war from different periods and cultures.

Perry’s intention for this work was to show the complexity of human society. He hoped audiences would identify with one or more of the groups and realise it is possible to live together peacefully despite our differences.

Grayson Perry said: “I am delighted that such great examples of my work will be on display in Manchester. An artist is a communicator and now I have a lovely platform in the north west of England.”

The newly acquired works will go on display on 1 February 2011. They will feature in the gallery’s forthcoming exhibition Visual Dialogues: Grayson Perry which is being curated with assistance from a group of around 30 young people.