The Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2013, which has been coordinated by the Royal Academicians Norman Ackroyd RA and Eva Jiricna RA, is now in its 245th year . The show continues to be the world’s largest open submission contemporary art shows providing a platform for both emerging and established artists, to showcase their work to an international audience. The majority of the works in the exhibition are for sale and offer visitors an opportunity to buy original art by selected artists in the show. The multi-media of works include painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, architecture and film. This always signals the start of the London summer cultural season and presents a snapshot of living artists, amateurs juxtaposed with Royal Academicians.
The works of art are carefully selected by committee comprising of ten Royal Academicians with the guidance of the two lead coordinators, the galleries this year exhibit over 1,000 exceptional artworks, many of which have gone on public display for the first time.
Printmaker Norman Ackroyd RA highlights quality printmaking, as well as hanging the works by fellow Royal Academicians and Honorary Royal Academicians. Eva Jiricna RA this year co-ordinate the architecture gallery and her curatorial direction has sought to blur the boundaries between architecture and sculpture with particular emphasis on experimental design. Other members of the Summer Exhibition committee include Humphrey Ocean RA, who has hung the small works’ galleries and John Wragg RA who, together with John Maine RA,have arranged the sculpture galleries.
As a feature this year, Grayson Perry RA is showing his series of six tapestries entitled The Vanity of Small Differences, telling the story of the rise and demise of Tim Rakewell, inspired by Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress. Exploring Perry’s fascination with aesthetic taste and social mobility, the tapestries are composed of characters, incidents and objects he encountered on journeys through Sunderland, Tunbridge Wells and the Cotswolds.
Another feature, this year at the Summer Exhibition is a room dedicated to portraiture, which includes photography and works on paper, along with new works by Frank Auerbach, Tom Phillips RA, Michael Craig-Martin RA and Alex Katz. This focus acknowledges the historic role that portraiture has played at the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition and the enduring importance of this genre within artistic practice today. Further highlights include a new large-scale sculpture by Anthony Caro RA and artwork by the newly elected Royal Academicians Ron Arad, Sean Scully and the Scottish painter, Jock McFadyen.
Christopher Le Brun, President of the Royal Academy of Arts says, “One of the founding principles of the Academy 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. The Royal Academy receives no public funding so each purchase made at the Summer Exhibition directly contributes to maintaining our free art school’.
The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 10 June-18 August