Home » Exhibitions » Exhibition Review: Summer Exhibition 2022 at the Royal Academy from 21 June to 21 August 2022

Exhibition Review: Summer Exhibition 2022 at the Royal Academy from 21 June to 21 August 2022

The Royal Academy presents this year’s Summer Exhibition, which is back to its position in the London Summer scene. The 254th Summer Exhibition is a unique celebration of contemporary art and architecture, providing a vital platform and support for the artistic community. British sculptor Alison Wilding RA co-ordinates this year’s Summer Exhibition, and working with the rest of the Summer Exhibition Committee, will explore the theme of Climate.

Artists exhibiting new work this year include artistic duos Harvey & Ackroyd, The Singh Twins, and Special Olympics GB Athlete and artist Niall Guite.

Other artists invited to exhibit this year include Royal Academy Schools graduate Clara Hastrup, Dominica-born British painter Tam Joseph, sculptor Kathleen Ryan, conceptual artist Simon Starling, sculptor Gavin Turk, Brazil-based artists Denilson Baniwa and Sallisa Rosa, and art-activist Jerilea Zempel.

Newly elected Royal Academicians Michael Armitage, Peter Barber and Ryan Gander have submitting works, as well as newly elected Honorary Academician Pipilotti Rist.

Royal Academicians Rana Begum and Níall McLaughlin are working collaboratively and curate the architecture sections across two galleries, alongside artworks.

Alongside the Summer Exhibition this year will be a large-scale, immersive installation designed specifically for the Royal Academy’s Annenberg Courtyard by the renowned Spanish artist and 2020 Royal Academy Architecture Prize winner, Cristina Iglesias. Iglesias has explored themes of nature, climate, and the environment throughout her career, and the installation for the RA, Humid Labyrinth Room (with Spontaneous Landscape), has been conceived to bring the experience of intimacy and landscape to a public urban space.

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.

Part of the fun is walking around the exhibition and spotting work by established artists, work that particularly caught my eye was Covid Bell by Grayson Perry, Sunset by Eileen Cooper, Lost Boat Party by Jock McFadyen and The Dream Emporium by Mick Rooney.

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

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 15,000 entries, of which around 1200 works, in a range of media, will go on display. This open, inclusive and democratic show supports the artistic community and art education.

The majority of works in the Summer Exhibition are 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.

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 and usually 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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