Over 1,000 Works Of Art In One Show - It Can Only Be The Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition
Looks like this article is a bit old. Be aware that information may have changed since it was published.
249 years young, at the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition these days, you can see over 1,000 works of art in one fell swoop. From big players like Anselm Kiefer, to emerging artists you may never have heard of — ultimately this a show about selling art. But browsers are more than welcome. And we encourage you to be one of those browsers.
Some things never change; every year there are dedicated rooms to architecture and photography; another room packed to the brim with the smaller works; and plenty of works by Royal Academy members — these Academicians tend to be well established artists.
The Academician overseeing the curation and hanging of the show this year is Eileen Cooper. Cooper creates personal paintings of figures but she's also responsible for the Royal Academy schools, so many of her students make an appearance in this show (what a wonderful opportunity for them).
Two of the strongest rooms, interestingly, are where Cooper has ceded control to her fellow Royal Academicians. Fiona Rae has curated themes of both darkness and dark themes — dark grey walls, a fleshy Anish Kapoor sculpture (seemingly bursting forth from the wall) and a heavily layered Anselm Kiefer painting create nightmarish overtones.
Yinka Shonibare's room, meanwhile, focuses on symbols of migration and African culture. It's another refreshing angle to explore in an exhibition which usually plays it safe by keeping the tone lighter.
Speaking of heavy works, an entire room is dedicated to a film by Isaac Julien. The beautifully shot piece explores migration and opulence across five screens. Though powerful, the Summer Exhibition feels like the wrong place for this work. With so many people bustling about, it's difficult to digest a cerebral work such as this. It almost needs its own exhibition.
As for Yinka Shonibare's colourful sculpture next to Joshua Reynolds's statue at the entrance — followed by an inaugural room of yellow walls, neon works by Tracey Emin, postcard racks and a rusting scooter — it's a visually-striking entrance to a show that grows evermore brooding.
The Summer Exhibition is on at Royal Academy of Arts from 13 June-20 August. Tickets are £14 for adults.
Last Updated 09 June 2017