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Animal Spirit (blue) (2016)

Grayson Perry

Guildhall Art Gallery, London

Animal Spirit (blue) (2016)

© Grayson Perry Photo credit: Stephen White





315gsm Heritage White paper

Physical Object Description:

Inscribed on the woodcut, left to right: logical [on animal's neck bone] serious reasonable [belly] objective [on heart] important [on back] common sense [on spine] rational wise [on intestines] prudent [on cocycx]. Signed on the front and numbered on the reverse.




194 x 242.5 cm


Gifted by Hamish Parker through the Contemporary Art Society, 2022/23



Ownership history:

Gifted by Hamish Parker through Paragon Press. London to the Contemporary Art Society; presented to Guildhall Art Gallery, London, 2022/23
Grayson Perry is an English contemporary artist, writer and broadcaster known for his ceramic vases, tapestries, and cross-dressing. There are often strong autobiographical elements in his work, focusing on his childhood, family and identity. His richly detailed work draws the viewer into the different narratives.

Aninal Spirit (blue) shows the symbolic representation of the irrational beast that controls the market – half bull, half bear. He is surrounded by symbols taken from the names of patterns seen in Japanese Candlestick charts. These were supposedly invented by sixteenth-century Japanese rice traders to help them understand the fluctuations in their market and they are still used today on the computer screens of city traders. Certain patterns have colourful names such as Abandoned Baby, Hanging Man, Shooting Star, Dark Cloud Cover, Gravestone Doji, Three Black Crows and Concealing Baby Swallow. The print was produced in response to the 2008 market crash, where surrounding commentary felt that the neutral ‘invisible hand’ of the market was not as neutral or infallible as they assumed.

Guildhall Art Gallery has several works of art which explore themes associated with the City of London, such as money, power, boom and bust, trade and commerce, and others with particular reference to the financial services. These themes have been a focus of collecting since 2013, and the gallery has encouraged open debate and topics around these topics. Animal Spirit )blue) is the first artwork collected under this theme which responds directly to the financial crisis of 2008, and it will be displayed in the City Gallery alongside other works which explore the different facets of the London.

All rights reserved. Any further use will need to be cleared with the rights holder. Permission granted to reproduce for personal and educational use only. Commercial copying, hiring, lending is prohibited.

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