It is hard to believe that the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts has been running for 243 years!
Each year it showcases a selection of art from established and emerging artists chosen from more than 12,000 pieces, all hoping for a place at this prestigious art show. The result is a superb array of paintings, photography, sculpture and film to brighten your day – even if the weather does not match it!
The fantastic sculpture by Jeff Koons that greets visitors as they walk into the RA courtyard is a personal favourite as we loved the warm, cheery feelings that it evokes and it sets the tone for the rest of the exhibition.
The Summer Exhibition gives visitors an unrivalled variety of art. Each room is jam-packed with art: big art, miniscule art, art in boxes, art hanging from the ceiling, minimal art, immensely detailed art, kinetic artworks, modern sculpture sitting alongside impressionist-styled painting, surrealism standing alongside new architecture and plenty more.
At first we found it odd that the myriad works in the gallery weren’t accompanied by individual explanations or titles. After a few minutes we realised why; The focus of the exhibition is on the artwork rather than the explanation. We are granted a short overview in each room but that’s it.
Favourite pieces include Simon Brundret’s Dog In a Bin which shows a life-size moving dog sculpture rummaging for food in a rubbish bin and a beautiful oil painting of London by Ken Howard titled Rain Effect In The City.
It’s rare to be afforded the privilege of experiencing works by established modern artists such as Tracey Emin and Anish Kapoor alongside emerging talent. This is one exhibition where, like London, there really is something to suit all tastes.
Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts until 15 Aug 2011. Book tickets