9 March 2016

Grayson Perry’s ‘Sketchbooks’

In May last year I posted about Grayson Perry’s A House for Essex, which had just been the subject of a TV documentary, and remarked:
There was a glimpse at the start of the documentary of some of his preliminary sketches for the House. I would certainly like to see more of his drawings; not all contemporary artists have such a talent - or risk showing it.
and now I have been able to, with the publication of Sketchbooks, a selection of images from the artist’s sketchbooks from 1980 to 2014. There are sections covering 1980 to 1986, when Perry was at art college and establishing himself in London, Practical Pot Making:

Fashion Designs, Etchings, The Walthamstow Tapestry & Our Father, The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman, The Vanity of Small Differences, The Royal Academy of Arts, Who Are You?, and A House For Essex

The book ends with photographs of Finished Works “that grew out of these sketches”. Sketchbooks has been produced as a paperback of nearly 200 pages with an artful faux-battered cover. The page size is slightly larger than A4, so the centres of what, presumably, were A3 (or larger) drawings when made disappear uncomfortably into the bindings:

However, the quality of the Italian printing is high. Anyone who like me is an admirer of Perry will value the background it provides to the artist’s recent works and the evolution of his style.