The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition is a firm fixture in the summer calendar. A combination of art fair and curated exhibition, featuring many established artists and less known newcomers.
It had been many years since my last visit and I was really looking forward to seeing an eclectic mix of paintings, photographs, illustrations and sculpture.
It does seem an overwhelming task to fill the 10 rooms with 1250 works in a coherent way but I do think the coordinator for this the 248th Summer Exhibition, the much respected Richard Wilson Royal Academician, pulled it off! It was wonderful to see so many red dots on the paintings especially as sales benefit the Royal Academy Schools.
Here are my highlights:
Untitled alabaster: Sir Anish Kappor RA
Sculpture is tricky to place in the mix but this stunning piece worked perfectly. I’m a huge fan of Anish Kapoor’s work!
On The Shelf: Irene Graham
I was drawn to the etchings of which there were many but this one was my favourite!
Catsuit oil and resin on board Ilona Szalay
I love the playful simplicity of this piece
Evening Fishing (detail) acrylic on canvas mounted on board Mick Moon RA
This reminded me of Banksy, a peaceful take on street art
Pouring Over 2 Morrison Boys and 2 Maps II acrylic Frank Bowling RA
Such a joyful, vibrant painting that definitely made me smile!
Mending, Restoration – Artifacts collected after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami- Aoni Fumiaki
In Gallery VI nine beautiful, moving pieces from Aoni Fumiaki are given their own quiet corner with space to be contemplated alone and I applaud the Royal Academy for doing this. These works deserve a solo show within the exhibition and were my absolute favourite works of art at this year’s Summer Exhibition
This gallery focuses on one of the overriding themes: the role of art in a healing a shattered world and these quiet yet profound sculptures truly bring artistic healing to smashed objects.
Art has a wonderful constant quality. I feel our world has become fragmented with recent events and yet art is always there to provide solace. Beauty to counter ugliness and joy to overcome sorrow at times when we most need it. These were the overriding thoughts I took away from me after seeing this exhibition just as I did when I was last at the Royal Academy for Painting the Modern Garden.
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2016 13 June — 21 August 2016