BBC Radio 4

    Grayson Perry to deliver Reith Lectures

    Artist, Grayson Perry.

    Award-winning visual artist Grayson Perry is this year’s Reith Lecturer. In a series of four lectures, entitled ‘Grayson Perry: Playing to the Gallery’, Perry will look at the role and place of art in the global, digital landscape of the 21st Century. The lectures will be broadcast in October and November as part of Radio 4’s celebration of arts and culture in 2013.

    Perry, who won the Turner Prize in 2003, is known for his ceramics, print-making, tapestry and his cross-dressing alter-ego, Claire. He also won a BAFTA in 2013 for his documentary All in the Best Possible Taste, about social and cultural taste in the UK.  He is the first visual artist to deliver the Reith Lectures and joins political and cultural figures on the Reith roster, including Bertrand Russell, Aung San Suu Kyi and Daniel Barenboim.

    At a time when, in the art world, seemingly anything goes, Perry will consider what 21st century art really looks like, its role in our society and the idea of how we judge quality.

    Perry says: “I want to celebrate an emotional relationship with visual art, the innocent drive to make it, to look at it, feast on it, to love it. I feel now is a good time to reflect on the idea of quality and how we might, in an age where we are told anything can be art, appreciate which art is any good."

    Perry will begin the series by reflecting on his own experiences as an artist and examining whether artistic integrity can be maintained alongside acclaim. He will explore how contemporary art is perceived by the artists, public and press in Britain. And will also look at the development of art critique language and what he sees as people’s increasing need to over-intellectualise their responses to art. 

    Perry says: "The words and the money associated with contemporary art also need examining. I want to talk about my ambivalent relationship with the art world, how I am profoundly grateful to it, yet struggle not to be a curmudgeon or a cynic.                       

    "In short, I want to talk about what it is like to be an artist, here, now.”

    Gwyneth Williams, Controller of Radio 4 and 4 Extra, said of Perry’s appointment: “I was inspired by his insight into the creative process and the deep humanity evident in his work. Radio 4 should be a home for artists and a place of creativity, and who better to make this happen than Grayson Perry?"

    Perry will deliver his Reith lectures in front of live audiences across the UK this autumn. The first lecture will be recorded at Tate Modern in London, followed by lectures at St George’s Hall in Liverpool, The Guildhall in Derry-Londonderry and Central Saint Martins in London.

    Tickets are not available yet, but will be made public in advance of the lectures via the BBC tickets page.

    Listen to more Reith Lectures

    Radio 4

    Radio 4 Extra


    More Posts