I am aware that I am very late to this party but I finally got around to going to this year’s summer exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts that everyone has been raving about- and it didn’t disappoint! I thought it was eclectic, fun and colourful which is everything I want from an exhibition really. If you’re in London in the next 10 days, it’s definitely worth visiting.
I was excited to see the stripy staircase by Jim Lambie in person after having seen pictures of it all over the internet and I really loved it, it’s a really great entrance to the exhibition and definitely sets up the theme and feel of the whole show.
^ SO MUCH COLOUR!
I really liked the pink, blue and teal walls of some of the galleries, something about them made me super happy and made me more attracted to the art on them. I know that some people wondered if the bright walls took away from the paintings but I have to disagree and say that their boldness enhanced the whole visit for me.
^ Left: Paul Hosking ‘Mimic’ (Spot me in the corner taking a sneaky photo) Right: Dido Crosby ‘Five sheep and a goat’
^The grey triangle by Alan Charlton is perhaps one of the more controversial pieces that I saw, but I couldn’t help but like it. It’s impressive scale more than anything else.
For me, my favourite thing about the exhibition was the way that there were hundreds of works and they were all displayed in a higgledy piggledy way, so close to each other and climbing high up the walls. It made the whole thing a bit more relatable and less intimidating, not stark and unwelcoming like some galleries can feel. It really reminded me of what we were taught in contextual studies about how the Royal Academy summer exhibition has been displayed all along, with jostling for position and the best artists hanging their work at eye level, see below.
This was my first RA summer exhibition, but it certainly won’t be my last. It’s been held annually at the Royal Academy since 1769 (AKA a really long time) and it was wonderful to see such a contemporary twist on the traditions of old; long may it continue.