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Grayson Perry birthday exhibition coming to London’s Wallace Collection

Artist Sir Grayson Perry will celebrate his 65th birthday in style — with a major exhibition at London’s magnificent Wallace Collection.


Titled Grayson Perry: Delusions of Grandeur and opening in 2025, the show will explore some of the themes and inspirations he has explored in his art throughout his long career.


The Wallace Collection — a 126-year-old London museum that’s home to a world-class fine art collection featuring artists such as Titian, Velázquez, Rubens and Van Dyck — is full of inspiration for the Turner Prize-winning Perry.


His childhood love of François Boucher’s Portrait of Madame de Pompadour (1759) in the collection of the Wallace is well documented as inspiring his work. But many other pieces from the museum have also influenced him over his lifetime, including a superb group of English miniature portraits, and an early 18th-century bronze of Mezzetin, a stock comic character of the Italian commedia dell'arte, soulfully strumming his guitar.


Perry will produce brand new works for this show, which will reflect and echo key inspirational Wallace objects that excitingly will also be displayed alongside.


Artist posing looking at the camera in a pink top, with a ceramic vase displayed next to him
Portrait of Grayson Perry. Photo © Chris McAndrew

The new pieces will playfully explore themes including perfection versus authenticity, the gendering of decoration, and the exquisite and the pretty versus the brutality and pomp of masculinity.


The diversity of the works in the Wallace Collection will be matched by the diversity of materials Perry will use for his new artworks. On show will be items utilising ceramics, sculpture, textile and painting.


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Teasing the work he’s producing for this birthday London exhibition, in an interview with the Art Newspaper, Perry revealed he was “doing a tiled cabinet and I’ll also probably do a carpet.”


The unique juxtaposition of Grayson Perry’s works beside objects from the Collection will invite audiences to participate in the exhibition: to take an active role as they compare, contrast and draw their own conclusions about inspiration and creativity.


Director of the Wallace Collection, Dr Xavier Bray said when announcing this new show that he hopes it will “surprise and intrigue visitors.”


The exhibition is due to be Perry’s next major show in the UK following his huge retrospective at the National in Scotland that opened in the summer of 2023. Grayon Perry: Smash Hits, which closes on 12 November, is billed as his biggest ever exhibition.


This birthday show might not be the same scale as his retrospective, but the prospect of an exhibition of old and new works by Perry in one of Britain’s most stunning interiors certainly makes it a show to get very excited about.


Grayson Perry: Delusions of Grandeur will open at the Wallace Collection in spring or summer 2025.


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