Royal Academy Summer Exhibition Opens
Summer Exhibition 2011: 7 June - 15 August 2011
The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2011 opened today to the press and tonight will see the launch of its annual fundraising Gala. With less than four days to go until the event opens it's doors to the public, here is a snapshot of what you can expect to see. Cindy Sherman, Martin Creed and Gary Hume will be exhibiting alongside emerging artists in the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show. It has been in existence for 243 years so the organisers have had a few years to get this London institution right. This years exhibition will continue in the tradition of showcasing work by both emerging and established artists in all media including painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, architecture and film. This years co-ordinator chosen for the show is Royal Academician Christopher Le Brun. Michael Craig-Martin will also take on a feature role by curating one of the larger galleries with a stellar showing of big named artists selected from the RA roster. This room includes Jenny Saville, Tracey Emin, Alan Jones, Anish Kapoor,Antony Gormley and Tony Cragg.The Architecture Room will be curated by Piers Gough and Alan Stanton.
The largest space in the Royal Academy will feature a fresh approach to the traditional “salon hang”. This will include a mix of open submission works as well as pieces by Royal Academicians and Honorary Academicians. It will create a memorably dense and rich visual experience through the presentation of works hung from dado rail to picture rail.
One of the founding principles of the Royal Academy of Arts was to 'mount an annual exhibition open to all artists of distinguished merit' to finance the training of young artists in the RA Schools. This has been held every year without interruption since 1769 and continues to play a
significant part in raising funds to finance the students. The Royal Academy receives no public funding so all those who support the Summer Exhibition by submitting work, visiting it and through purchases contribute to supporting artists of the future.
The Summer Exhibition attracts a high volume of entrants each year with over 11,000 entries received this year. The majority of works will be for sale, offering visitors an unrivaled opportunity to purchase original artwork by high profile and up-and-coming artists.
Jeff Koons’ sculpture is the latest installation in the RA’s programme of Sculpture in the Courtyard and follows on from Barry Flanagan’s posthumous 2010 display of three hares; Hare and Bell 1988, Nijinski Hare 1996 and Large Left-Handed Drummer 2006, Bryan Kneale’s Triton III (2009), Sir Anthony Caro’s Promenade (2008), the Chapman’s The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth, but not the Mineral Rights (2007), Anselm Kiefer’s Jericho (2007), Rodin's Gates of Hell (2006) and Damien Hirst's Virgin Mother (2006).
The Summer Exhibition recognises artists of exceptional merit by awarding prizes. A total of
£70,000 donated by commercial sponsors is up for grabs this year. In 1978, the Royal Academy
of Arts, Charles Wollaston Award was established. The sum of £25,000 is one of the largest and most prestigious art
prizes in Britain. Previous winners include: David Hockney (1999). , Jeff Koons (2008), Gavin
Turk (2007), Jake and Dinos Chapman (2003), Alan Charlton (2002), Marc Quinn (2001),
Gerard Hemsworth (2000) and Yinka Shonibare (2010)
SUMMER EXHIBITION COMMITTEE
The Summer Exhibition Committee for 2011 includes Royal Academicians Michael Craig-Martin,Tony Bevan, Olwyn Bowey, Maurice Cockrill, , Stephen Farthing, Piers Gough, Christopher Le Brun, Chris Orr, Michael Sandle, Alan Stanton and John Wragg and is chaired by the President, Sir Nicholas Grimshaw.
Koons in The ANNENBERG COURTYARD
Coloring Book, a large sculpture by Jeff Koons (b.1955 see photo) has been installed in the Royal Academy’s Annenberg Courtyard. The piece reflects Koons interest in society’s obsession with infantilism and youth. Jeff Koons was elected Honorary Royal Academician in 2010. Jeff Koons’ sculpture is the latest installation in the RA’s programme of Sculpture in the Courtyard and follows on from Barry Flanagan’s posthumous 2010 display of three hares; Hare and Bell 1988, Nijinski Hare 1996 and Large Left-Handed Drummer 2006, Bryan Kneale’s Triton III (2009), Sir Anthony Caro’s Promenade (2008), the Chapman’s The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth, but not the Mineral Rights (2007), Anselm Kiefer’s Jericho (2007), Rodin's Gates of Hell (2006) and Damien Hirst's Virgin Mother (2006).
Alongside the Summer Exhibition 2011, the Royal Academy of Arts will be running a diverse programme of special events, evening lectures and gallery talks. Dedicated events for families will include gallery talks and workshops. For children aged between 8 and 13 there will be a free printed guide sheet to the exhibition. Activity trays, including art materials, will be available for younger visitors to create their own works of art. There are still tickets for Thursday's gala preview. Tickets, priced from £235, are available from the Royal Academy: call 020 7300 5974 or email