Exhibition Coming Soon

Grayson Perry | Smash Hits

From Sat 22 Jul 2023 - Sun 12 Nov 2023

Open daily, 10am-5pm


This summer, come and see the biggest ever exhibition of Grayson Perry's work, covering his 40-year career. Perry has gone from taking pottery evening classes to winning the Turner Prize, presenting television programmes on Channel 4 and writing acclaimed books. Pottery allowed him the opportunity to indulge his fascination with sex, Punk, and counterculture, amongst other things, in the most unlikely and polite of artforms. Today he is one of Britain's most celebrated artists and cultural figures.

Popular and provocative, Perry makes art that deals with difficult and complex ideas in an accessible and often funny way. He loves taking on big issues that are universally human: masculinity, sexuality, class, religion, politics and more. On view will be subversive pots, brilliantly intricate prints, elaborate sculptures, and huge, captivating tapestries - all imbued with Perry's sharp wit and social commentary. Working with traditional artforms, Perry addresses the controversial issues of our times.

The exhibition contains language and imagery of an adult nature.

Banner image: Grayson Perry, Kenilworth AM1, 2010, custom-built motorcycle © Grayson Perry. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro. Photo Angus Mill.

This comprehensive exhibition, which encompasses more than eighty works, has been developed in close collaboration with the artist and Victoria Miro gallery. Instead of being presented chronologically, the show offers a journey through the main themes of Perry’s provocative art, including masculinity, sexuality, class, religion, politics and identity. Grayson Perry | Smash Hits will display subversive pots, intricate prints, elaborate sculptures, and huge, captivating tapestries – all imbued with Perry’s sharp wit and social commentary.

Grayson Perry | Smash Hits will bring together all the artist’s meticulously detailed prints and imaginary maps. The exhibition will feature many of his tapestries, such as the rarely shown Walthamstow Tapestry (2009) which, at 15-metres in length, presents birth-to-death journey through shopping and brand names. Visitors will also encounter the intricate cast-iron ship, Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman (2011) which was the centrepiece of Perry’s 2011 exhibition of the same name at the British Museum. The tomb is a memorial to all the anonymous craftsmen of history. Two rooms centre on the monumental tapestry series: Vanity of Small Differences (2012), which focus on class and are loosely based on William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress, as well as House for Essex tapestries (2015), which explore the life of a fictional Essex woman Julie Cope.

The final room will exhibit new works made in the past few months especially for the exhibition. These include a richly detailed tapestry, a large woodcut print, and pots and plates which explore themes of national identity. Perry’s latest pots, in the form of medieval beer flagons, are decorated with traditional slipware techniques and reference subjects ranging from the polarising effect of internet debate to heraldic iconography. This room will also include objects chosen from his recent Channel 4 docuseries Grayson Perry’s Full English. Perry travelled around the country to try and uncover what Englishness means today. He invited interviewees to select personal items which to them represented Englishness. Piqued by the opportunity to show some of these items, alongside his new works on Englishness in Scotland, Perry has included various objects from a pub sign to a football flag, and a teacup to a letter from the Queen.

This exhibition is organised with the support of Victoria Miro and Paragon Press.

Event accessibility

Exhibition accessibility

  • Large print labels
  • Wheelchair access

Gallery facilities

Detailed information on accessibility at the National Galleries of Scotland

We are currently working on improving our galleries. During this time some rooms will be closed and some facilities will be temporarily removed. There will be limited disabled access to some areas.

There is limited on street parking close by including for those with a blue badge.

  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair access
  • Accessible toilets
  • Wheelchairs available
  • Public toilets
  • Lockers (£1/£2)
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Seating throughout
  • Bike rack
  • Café
  • Restaurant
Getting here

Getting here

The National can be found just off Princes Street in the city centre.

Venue map
  • Open daily, 10am–5pm
The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL

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Related Products
Exhibition Coming Soon

Grayson Perry | Smash Hits


Tickets on sale now.

Ticket type Price
Full price £19.00
Visitors aged 65+ £17.00
Student / Young Scot / Visitors with disabilities £10.00
National Art Pass £9.50
National Art Pass concession £8.50
Children (aged 13-17) £5.00
Unemployed £5.00
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