The Royal Academy has against all odds unveiled its 252 annual Summer Exhibition. Today (28th September) is ‘Varnishing Day’ where the artists can see their works for the first time in situ. Agreed it was supposed to take place in June as tradition dictates but these are unprecedented times and it is a relief that the exhibition has gone ahead at all.
1,172 works have been put up for public scrutiny and it’s a decent effort. Curated by video-art twins Jane and Louise Wilson, the show pays homage to BLM with the front room being turned over to Black Academicians. El Anatsui, Sonia Boyce, and Yinka Shonibare are represented along with Njideka Akunyili Crosby who exhibits a large collage, Oscar Murillo presents one of his abstracts, a canvas by Frank Bowling and Chris Ofili creates a massive triptych. Isaac Julien’s room-size photographs ‘Lessons of the Hour, London 1983 – Who Killed Colin Roach?’ is poignant and powerful and sums up the unrest that has become a global movement.
The Turner Prize-winning Sculptor Richard Deacon RA curates the sculpture gallery. Two Royal Academicians are curating their galleries virtually; Eileen Cooper is managing prints, and Stephen Farthing is working from Jordan curating galleries 3 and 9. Sonia Boyce RA has encouraged many artists who have never shown at the Summer Exhibition to contribute to her gallery.
Works from all over the world are judged democratically on merit, and the final selection is made during the eight-day hang in the galleries. This year the Royal Academy received over 18,000 entries, of which around 1000 works, in a range of media, will go on display. This open, inclusive and democratic show supports the artistic community, art education and provides an array of creativity and joy for the public. Now, more than ever, the Royal Academy is committed to supporting artists and architects and a belief in the restorative power of art. The majority of works in the Summer Exhibition will be for sale, offering visitors an opportunity to purchase original work. Funds raised support the exhibiting artists, the postgraduate students studying in the RA Schools and the not-for-profit work of the Royal Academy.
The Royal Academy of Arts was founded by King George III in 1768. It has a unique position in being an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to be a clear, strong voice for art and artists. Its public programme promotes the creation, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, education and debate.
Summer Exhibition 2020 Main Galleries 6 October 2020 – 3 January 2021
The full list of Royal Academicians
Alan Stanton RA | Alison Wilding RA | Allen Jones RA | Sir Anish Kapoor RA | Ann Christopher RA | Anne Desmet RA | Anthony Eyton RA | Anthony Green RA | Anthony Whishaw RA | Antony Gormley RA | Barbara Rae RA | Basil Beattie RA | Bill Jacklin RA | Bill Woodrow RA | Bob & Roberta Smith RA | Brain Catling RA | Bryan Kneale RA | Cathie Pilkington RA | Chantal Joffe RA | Chris Wilkinson RA | Chris Orr RA | Conrad Shawcross RA | Cornelia Parker RA | Sir David Adjaye OBE RA | David Mach RA | David Nash RA | David Remfry RA | Dhruva Mistry RA | Diana Armfield RA | Ed Ruscha Hon RA | Eileen Cooper RA | Emma Stibbon RA | Eric Parry RA | Eva Jiricna RA | Eva Rothschild RA | Farshid Moussavi RA | Fiona Banner RA Elect | Fiona Rae RA | Fred Cuming RA | Gary Hume RA | Gordon Benson RA | Grayson Perry RA | Gus Cummins RA | Hughie O’Donaghue RA | Humphrey Ocean RA | Ian McKeever RA | Ian Ritchie CBE RA | James Butler RA | Jock McFadyen RA | Joe Tilson RA | John Carter RA | John Maine RA | Sir John Tusa | Kenneth Draper RA | Ken Howard RA | Kiki Smith Hon RA | Lisa Milroy RA | Louise Hutton RA | Mail Morris RA | Michael Craig-Martin RA | Michael Sandle RA | Mick Moon RA | Mick Rooney RA | Mike Nelson RA | Neil Jeffries RA | Niall McLaughlin RA Elect | Nigel Hall RA | Norman Acroyd RA | Norman Foster RA | Olwyn Bowey RA | Paul Huxley RA | Peter Cook RA | Peter Freeth RA | Peter Randall-Page RA | Phyllida Barlow RA | Phillip King PPRA | Piers Gough RA | Rana Begum RA Elect | Richard Cork | Richard Deacon RA | Sir Richard Long RA | Richard Wilson RA | Ron Arad RA | Rose Wylie RA | Spencer de Grey RA | Stephen Chambers RA | Stephen Cox RA | Stephen Farthing RA | Tacita Dean RA | Terry Setch RA | Tess Jaray RA | Thomas Heatherwick RA | Tim Shaw RA | Timothy Hyman RA | Tom Phillips RA | Tony Bevan RA | Tracey Emin RA | Trevor Dannatt RA | Vanessa Jackson RA | Wolfgang Tillmans RA | Yinka Shonibare CBE RA
Top Photo: Via Twitter
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