Home » Exhibitions » Exhibition Review: Summer Exhibition 2019 at the Royal Academy from 10 June to 12 August 2019

Exhibition Review: Summer Exhibition 2019 at the Royal Academy from 10 June to 12 August 2019

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is one of the great English Art traditions, it is the world’s oldest open-submission exhibition being established in 1768 whose long line of exhibitors reads like a Who’s Who of British Art. Some of the earliest exhibitors included the likes of Reynolds, Constable and Turner, however the exhibition prides itself that it offers a snapshot of contemporary art.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This year, the Royal Academy celebrates its 251st Summer Exhibition and acclaimed British painter, Jock McFadyen has been awarded the role of co-ordinator. McFadyen with the Summer Exhibition Committee have tried to create a show that builds a unique platform for artists at all stages of their career to present recent work.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The artwork begins before you enter the building  with artist Thomas Houseago  showing  a group of large-scale sculptural works in the Royal Academy’s Annenberg Courtyard next to Academy’s statue of Joshua Reynolds, which has stood in the courtyard since 1931.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Visitors enter the exhibition through the Central Hall which features a ‘menagerie’ of animals of all shapes and sizes including Polar Bear by Shira Zelwer, D.F.W.T.W 2 by Ron Arad and Easy Tiger – Mach Brothers by David Mach.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Against the wall is Keep Ou by Banksy, this features a custom arch salvaged from Heathrow airport with a small painting at the bottom.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Spencer de Grey RA curates the Architecture Gallery, which explores the theme of sustainability. Many notable architects have summitted models and prints including Lord Foster, Arup, Lord Rogers and Sir Nicholas Grimshaw.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Part of the fun is walking around the exhibition and spotting work by established artists, work that particularly caught my eye were Lily and Quaye by Ishbel Myerscough, We are all Immigrant Scum by Jeremy Deller and A Kind of Blue by Allen Jones.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Other artists exhibiting in this year’s Summer Exhibition include Tracey Emin , Gary Hume , David Nash , Wolfgang Tillmans and Anselm Kiefer. The celebrated German filmmaker and photographer Wim Wenders has taken over the free McAulay Gallery, with a series of panoramic photographs.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Each room offers a kaleidoscope of colour and images in a range of media, from painting, printmaking, film and photography to sculpture, architectural works and performance art.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The Summer Exhibition offers a platform for emerging and established artists and architects to showcase their work in front of a large international audience. The Summer Exhibition also plays a practical role in training young artists, it raises 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.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show which has taken place every year without interruption since 1769. Works from all over the world are judged on merit and the final selection is made during the eight-day hang in the galleries. This year the Royal Academy received over 16,000 entries with around 1200 works going on display.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This fascinating exhibition has a large number of wonderfully eclectic works on display, there is really something for everyone regardless of your particular artistic taste. The Summer Exhibition is one of the highlights of the art world’s summer and attracts a wide range of visitors. It also offers a rare opportunity to buy works from well-known and not so well-known artists with prices ranging from a few hundred to over a hundred thousand pounds.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the Royal Academy website here

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