Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences

Colourful tapestry showing four women going on a night out.

Grayson Perry, 'The Adoration of the Cage Fighters', 2012 (detail). Photo: © Stephen White.

17 May - 10 August 2014

Free entry                                                     

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This exhibition of six spectacular tapestries by Turner Prize winning artist (2003), Grayson Perry, tells an epic tale of human nature and social constructs.  

Perry designed the tapestries as part of a series he made with Channel 4 in 2012, called 'All in the Best Possible Taste' . During the series, Perry went: “on a safari amongst the taste tribes of Britain" (Perry).

The fascinating observations Perry made on his journey provide a compelling, snap-shot of modern Britain. Middle class angst, 'old money' snobbery and a community shattered by job losses and industrial decline all come under Perry's scrutiny.

Ordinary objects from a football kit, celebrity chef cookbook and Cath Kidston shopping bag, take on new symbolism and provide a rich visual language.

Perry also examines the idea of social mobility between the classes. The tapestries are a modern evocation of 'A Rake’s Progress', the series of paintings by 18th century artist William Hogarth.

Vivid colours, remarkable textures, contrasting patterns and an intriguing commentary, build a complete picture of the tragic rise and fall of an ordinary man, which "not only delights the eye but also sparks debate about class, taste and British society" (Perry). 

Image gallery

Grayson Perry, 'The Adoration of the Cage Fighters', 2012 (detail). Photo: © Stephen White. Grayson Perry, 'The Agony in the Car Park', 2012 (detail). Photo: © Stephen White. Grayson Perry, 'Expulsion from Number 8 Eden Close', 2012 (detail). Photo: © Stephen White. Grayson Perry, 'The Annunciation of the Virgin Deal', 2012 (detail). Photo: © Stephen White. Grayson Perry, 'The Upper Class at Bay', 2012 (detail). Photo: © Stephen White. Grayson Perry, '#Lamentation', 2012 (detail). Photo: © Stephen White.


Find out more

  • Go on tours of the exhibition with our curator - check our events listings.
  • There is an app available for £1.99, which includes Grayson’s own audio commentary. 
    Visit itunes to download.   


'The Vanity of Small Differences' is part of National Museums Liverpool's 'Modern Masters' series, part funded by the European Union - the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

In association with the Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre London and British Council. Gift of the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery with the assistance of Channel 4 Television, the Art Fund and Sfumato Foundation with additional support from AlixPartners. The UK tour is supported by the Art Fund and the Sfumato Foundation.


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