The Royal Academy’s has announced Eileen Cooper RA. will co-ordinate the 249th Summer Exhibition, which runs from mid-June until late August. The hanging committee will consist of Royal Academicians Ann Christopher, Gus Cummins, Bill Jacklin, Fiona Rae, Rebecca Salter and Yinka Shonibare. This year, the Architecture Gallery will be curated by Farshid Moussavi RA. The Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open submission exhibition providing a platform for emerging and established artists to showcase their works to an international audience.
Eileen Cooper is a painter and printmaker known for her instantly recognisable style, sometimes described as “magical realism”. Cooper studied at Goldsmiths College from 1971-1974 and was taught by fellow Royal Academicians Michael Craig-Martin and the late Albert Irvin. She went on to study at the Royal College of Art and by the 1980s was exhibiting widely. She became a Royal Academician in 2000 and was elected as the Keeper of the Royal Academy in 2010, the first woman in this role since the RA began in 1768.
“As Keeper of the Royal Academy I am committed to the Summer Exhibition, given its support of the RA Schools” – Eileen Cooper RA
This year the Royal Academy received 12,000 entries from both UK and International artists, from which the committee will make a selection to hang in the Main Galleries in Burlington House. Around 1200 works, in a range of media, will go on display, the majority of which will be for sale offering visitors an opportunity to purchase original artwork by high profile and up-and-coming artists.
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 Royal Academy Schools. The Summer Exhibition has been held every year without interruption since 1769 and continues to play a significant part in raising funds to finance the current students of the RA Schools. The RA Schools is the longest established art school in the UK and offers the only free three-year postgraduate programme in Europe.
Eileen Cooper, coordinator of the Summer Exhibition 2017 said: ‘As Keeper of the Royal Academy I am committed to the Summer Exhibition, given its support of the RA Schools students over the past 249 years. I have submitted work to the Summer Exhibition since I was an art student and subsequently many times as an Academician. I am delighted to be the coordinator this year and to be working with such an exciting committee.’
Photo: Paul Carter Robinson © Artlyst 2017