Royal Academy Revamps Annual Summer Show

By Sponsor Last edited 86 months ago
Royal Academy Revamps Annual Summer Show

This is a sponsored article on behalf of the Royal Academy.


The Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition is in its 274th year. Each year since 1769, without exception, the RA has hosted an open submission show where anyone can offer their artwork for scrutiny and possible display. Along with queuing for Wimbledon and enjoying outdoor cinema at Somerset House, the Summer Exhibition is one of London's summer stalwarts. From 12,000 submissions this year, there are around 1,200 pieces of painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, architecture and film on display. Wear comfy shoes if you want to see everything: this is art-appreciation as marathon.

To revamp art's answer to Ascot, the Academy is going for something a bit different for 2015. Under the influence of Michael Craig-Martin RA, this year's coordinator, the building itself is undergoing a transformation. The three central galleries have been repainted bright turquoise, shocking pink and sky blue; Jim Lambie's grand staircase is covered in coloured strips of tape; outside, a massive installation of five steel 'clouds' by Conrad Shawcross RA dominates the courtyard.

Highlights include a room dedicated to A Humument, a monumental opus by Tom Phillips RA. For the last 49 years, Phillips has been altering pages of a Victorian book called A Human Document, adding drawings, paintings, collage and cutouts to create an entirely new artwork. Look out, too, for Grayson Perry RA's tapestry Julie and Rob, portraits of the protagonists of his A House for Essex; and Summer Exhibition first-timer William Kentridge Hon RA displays nine new works — ink drawings of trees on paper from dictionaries and encyclopaedias.

The Summer Exhibition runs at the Royal Academy 8 June-16 August and is sponsored by Insight Investment. Visit the website to find out more.

Last Updated 18 June 2015