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Grayson Perry: The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!

Wednesday 27 September 2017 to Sunday 24 December 2017, 11:00 to 13:00

A major exhibition by one of the world’s most charismatic artists and astute commentators on contemporary society. Open Tuesday - Sunday, 11am to 6pm. Closes at 1pm on Christmas Eve.


"Relevant, sardonic and witty" - Bristol24/7

"I've renamed it Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever except for Banksy" @Alan_Measles

"Probably the best exhibition I've ever seen" @porthjess

"Relevant, thought-provoking and inspiring. Get yourself down there" @rifemagazine

Grayson Perry: The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever! tackles one of the artist’s primary concerns: how contemporary art can best address a diverse cross section of society. On show for the first time outside of London, the exhibition is central to the autumn season at Arnolfini and a programme of events inspired by Perry’s irreverent take on contemporary culture.

In the exhibition, Perry continues to explore many of the themes and concerns that recur in his practice, drawing from his own childhood and life as a transvestite, as well as wider social issues and his abiding interest in his audience. The works in the exhibition examine masculinity, class, politics, sex, religion, popularity and art, as well as contemporary issues such as Brexit and ‘Divided Britain’.

Perry said: “I am in the communication business and I want to communicate to as wide an audience as possible. Nothing pleases me more than meeting someone at one of my exhibitions from what museum people call ‘a non-traditional background.’ The new works I am making all have ideas about popularity hovering around them. What kind of art do people like? What subjects? Why do people like going to art galleries these days? What is the relationship of traditional art to social media?”


Working in a variety of traditional media including ceramics, cast iron, bronze, printmaking, and tapestry, Perry is best known for his ability to combine delicately crafted objects with scenes of contemporary life.

Grayson Perry, Matching Pair, 2017. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro, London. Photo: Robert Glowacki

The exhibition at Arnolfini will present over 25 of Perry’s latest works, including Matching Pair (above). This new work was created after Perry invited the British public, through social media, to contribute ideas, images and phrases that were then used to cover two enormous pots: one for Remainers and one for the Brexiteers.

The crowd-sourced work accompanied a Channel 4 documentary, Grayson Perry: Divided Britain, which followed Perry as he visited pro-Brexit and pro-Remain parts of the country.


"Has Perry achieved his aim of widening the audience for contemporary art? Whilst art galleries remain difficult and complex spaces to navigate in terms of inclusion, this eye-opening display of the country we live in is certainly one step in the right direction." - Imogen Downes, Rife

Opening times
Grayson Perry: 
The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever! is open Tuesday-Sunday, 11am-6pm. 
Please note the exhibition closes at 1pm on Christmas Eve.

Admission is free and there is no need to book. 

The exhibition is exceptionally busy on Saturdays and Sundays. 
To enjoy the exhibition at a quieter time we recommend visiting on Wednesday or Thursday, or between 5pm-6pm at the weekends. 

Please note that large bags will not be permitted inside the exhibition. 
More information



Exhibition Guide:


Autumn season events

Throughout the exhibition a season of talks and tours, events, music and film nights offer the chance to delve deeper and explore the ideas at the heart of the exhibition with special guest appearances from artists and collectives from Bristol. Tickets are selling fast.

Please sign up to our newsletter on the top right hand side of this page to be notified of our upcoming plans first.


Arnolfini interview: Grayson Perry

On the day of the preview we caught up with Grayson and found out more about his creative process and thinking behind the exhibition in this video interview. 


Grayson Perry: The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever! is initiated and organised by the Serpentine Galleries, London.

Serpentine Galleries logo

With the support of:

   ACe 200 px

UWE logo      Farrow and Ball logo 


Media partner:

Bristol 247 logo


Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences opens at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery from 31 March 2018.

This series of six large tapestries by Grayson Perry explore the British fascination with taste and class. Inspired by Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress, Perry’s rich tapestries depict many of the eccentricities and peculiarities of life in the UK.

More info available soon via Bristol Museum & Art Gallery's website

#ShopLoves #ShopLoves
Favourite picks from the staff team at Arnolfini available to buy from the Arnolfini Bookshop.
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