The Royal Academy’s summer exhibition marks the start of summer for many Londoner’s and art lovers. This year is the 246th exhibition and it is marked by some exciting changes. The beauty of the summer exhibition is that it is open to anyone and both known and unknown artists submit work for inclusion, the final selection being made by a panel of RA Academicians. This makes it hugely diverse, this year the exhibition features over 1,200 works created in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, architecture and film, most of which are for sale.
This year the exhibition has been overseen by Royal Academician Hughie O’Donoghue and there are some changes to the traditional format. The institute has made a terrific effort to address recent criticisms that it has not kept up with contemporary art trends. These efforts can be clearly seen throughout the exhibition and the first room is given over completely to new artists who have recently become Academicians. The Small Weston Room has returned to its former glory and is dedicated to small art works again, which will please many. The room is filled from ceiling to floor with small works and it is immensely thrilling to stand in there surrounded by so many works of art; slowly each work begins to reveals itself and those that speak to one personally make themselves known amongst the mass, it is a fantastic experience and one that I look forward to each year. Another change this year is the introduction of the Black and White room. This room has been curated by Cornelia Park RA, she invited Royal Academicians Michael Craig-Martin, Richard Deacon, Tacita Dean, and Michael Landy to exhibit works, as well as other high-profile artists who would not have thought of entering the Summer Exhibition such as Martin Creed, Jeremy Deller, Mona Hatoum, Christian Marclay, Laure Prouvost and David Shrigley. In fact some of the artists created new works specifically for this room. It is impressive and provides a striking contract to the other rooms that surround it.
This year the RA has created a special late night event to celebrate Midsummer and the Summer Exhibition. The ‘Midsummer Night’s Fete’ is a ticketed event on the 21st June and is open to the public.
The Summer Exhibition is now open to the public and runs until 17th August 2014. For more information go to the RA’s website: www.royalacademy.org.uk