Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences

Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences


Telling a story of class and taste, aspiration and identity, tapestry series The Vanity of Small Differences saw Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry travel the length and breadth of the UK, ‘on safari amongst the taste tribes of Britain’. In his BAFTA award winning three-part documentary series All in the Best Possible Taste (Channel 4), Perry explores the ‘emotional investment we make in the things we choose to live with, wear, eat, read or drive.’ 

The Vanity of Small Differences is the beautiful publication, covered with real cloth, accompanying the Hayward Touring exhibition with the same name. The book features Perry’s six vibrant and highly detailed tapestries bearing the influence both of early Renaissance painting and of William Hogarth’s moralising series, literally weaving characters, incidents and objects from the artist’s research into a modern day version of Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress (1733).

With an inventive and elegant design from Pony Ltd, this fascinating publication includes an extensive array of full-colour reproductions of Perry’s tapestries, complete with photos of the artist’s sketches and preparatory material for the tapestries themselves. 

Journalist Suzanne Moore (Guardian, Mail on Sunday) contributes to the book with an incisive, moving and highly personal reflection on questions of class, taste and their relative values. Also featuring a new text by Grayson Perry, alongside extensive commentary on each of the tapestries, while curator Adam Lowe’s essay explores the process of their making and their place in the digital age, The Vanity of Small Differences is an essential guide to the work of one of Britain’s best-loved artists.

Foreword by Caroline Douglas
Essays by Suzanne Moore, Adam Lowe and Grayson Perry.

128 pages
21.5 x 25 cm 
120 colour and b/w ills
ISBN  9781853323157
Special exhibition price £14.99 (RRP £17.99)
Designed by Pony Ltd


Grayson Perry is best-known for his ceramic and textile art, which often feature a strong autobiographical element. Created in response to his investigation in to ideas of taste and design amongst the three classes, his tapestries have been touring the UK throughout 2013 dnd 2014.

Adam Lowe co-curated the 2011 exhibition ‘Penelope’s Labour - Weaving Words and Images ’, which showcased contemporary tapestries.

Suzanne Moore is a columnist for the Guardian and a writer for Mail on Sunday.

Caroline Douglas was Head of the Arts Council Collection from 2006 to 2013.

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"Beautiful!"  - The Guardian

"Superb book" -  Sleek magazine

"With a gorgeously colourful and tactile cloth cover, the book offers gorgeous close ups of the works, revealing the intricacies that go into each piece." - Design Week


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