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  • Catalogue Essay

    Perry's map combines a diagram of the artist’s body with a medieval map of the world. Map of Nowhere is based on the Ebstorf mappa mundi (a Medieval European map of the world) which was destroyed during World War II. It showed Jesus as the body of the world, with his head, hands and feet marking four equidistant points around the circle. Another starting point for this print was Sir Thomas More's Utopia. Utopia is a pun on the Greek au topos meaning 'no place'.
    "Perry spikes the tradition with contemporary social comment. Within a circular scheme, like the Ebstorf Map, or the existent Hereford Mappa Mundi (www.herefordcathedral.org), he presents a flattened-out analysis of his world - from jibes about current affairs to the touchstones of his personal life. Where the Ebstorf Map has the world unfolding around Jerusalem, Perry's personal world view encompasses a cacophony of ideas and preoccupations, with 'Doubt' right at the centre. The artist's alter ego Claire gets a sainthood, while people pray at the churches of global corporations: Microsoft, Starbucks, Tescoes. Tabloid cliches abound, each attached to a figure or building: 'the new black', 'kidults', 'binge drinking', having-it-all'. Top right, the 'free-market-economy' floats untethered, preempting the credit crunch that was to take hold in the autumn of 2008. All-over labels demand that the map is read - or quizzed - close up. This is a clearly articulated satire, and while Perry adopts a medieval confusion of scale and proportion, the diagrammatic style is as adamant as its religious forerunners. Beneath, there is a drawing of figures on a pilgrimage, set in a realistic landscape. They are at final staging post before making their way up to a monastery at the top of a mountain beyond, which is hit by a beam of light, coming from the artist's bottom." British Council Collection
    The print has a stormy quality to it. "I don't like the plate being wiped too clean in the printing process; I like it to have a sort of antique, dirty look." Grayson Perry
    In 2003, Perry was awarded the Turner Prize for his exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and the Barbican Art Gallery, London.

5

Map of Nowhere

2008
Etching from five plates, on one sheet of wove paper, with full margins,
I. 59 3/4 x 44 in. (151.8 x 111.8 cm);
S. 60 1/4 x 44 3/8 in. (153 x 112.7 cm)

signed and numbered 45/68 in pencil on the reverse (there was also an edition of 15 in red, 15 in blue and 7 in purple), published by Paragon Press, London, in very good condition, framed.

Estimate
$20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $23,750

Evening Editions

21 April 2011
New York