Very Large Very Expensive Abstract Painting

2020

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© Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

‘If I think of American cultural power the image that pops into my head is a huge Abstract Expressionist painting, a Cold War symbol of a self-confident land of the free. In those days New York was the white hot centre of the art world, now it is a hideously expensive liberal enclave. This tapestry is made up of layers that reflect some of the cultural and social archaeology of Manhattan. The deepest layer is made up of historic textiles from the many cultures that make up the modern city, American, African, Asian and European. A virtual patchwork of quilts, rugs, blankets, flags and sacks. On top of this is splurged a Jackson Pollock style abstract painting – a freewheeling gesture of macho cultural dominance. The outline map of Manhattan is on its side to fit in the landscape sweep of the Ab-Ex painting but also to ram home how phallic it appears, the subway map forming its pulsing veins and arteries. The final layer is a series of pasted collage labels that between them lay out the economic, social and cultural forces that maintain the glass floor under the affluent liberal elite.’
– Grayson Perry

Grayson Perry's most recent tapestry, inspired by the artist's road trip across the US for the three-part documentary Grayson Perry’s Big American Roadtrip on Channel 4 was produced at Factum Arte's digital tapestry studio in Madrid and woven on Jacquard looms in Belgium. 

Very Large Very Expensive Abstract Painting is on display at Victoria Mirò (London) as part of the exhibition 'The MOST Specialest Relationship' (15 September–31 October 2020), among other works conceived during and after the US trip. 

‘If I think of American cultural power, the image that pops into my head is a huge Abstract Expressionist painting, a Cold War symbol of a self-confident land of the free. In those days New York was the white hot centre of the art world, now it is a hideously expensive liberal enclave. This tapestry is made up of layers that reflect some of the cultural and social archaeology of Manhattan. The deepest layer is made up of historic textiles from the many cultures that make up the modern city, American, African, Asian and European. A virtual patchwork of quilts, rugs, blankets, flags and sacks. On top of this is splurged a Jackson Pollock style abstract painting – a freewheeling gesture of macho cultural dominance. The outline map of Manhattan is on its side to fit in the landscape sweep of the Ab-Ex painting but also to ram home how phallic it appears, the subway map forming its pulsing veins and arteries. The final layer is a series of pasted collage labels that between them lay out the economic, social and cultural forces that maintain the glass floor under the affluent liberal elite.’

© Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

© Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

© Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

© Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

© Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte


'The MOST Specialest Relationship'
Victoria Miro
London
15 September – 31 October 2020

Grayson Perry Very Large Very Expensive Abstract Painting, 2020, Tapestry, 292 x 688 cm 115 x 270 7/8 in, Edition of 10 plus 2 artist proofs © Grayson Perry Courtesy the artist, Paragon | Contemporary Editions Ltd and Victoria Miro


 

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