The 248th Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London opened to the public this week, and in its time-honored tradition, mixed A-list international artists with everyone from aspiring watercolourists, to budding sculptures and photographers.
The Summer exhibition, the world’s largest open submission exhibition, has become renowned for its diverse and eclectic choice of artworks; but back in 1949, the then RA president Alfred Munnings declared that if he saw Picasso walking down the street, he'd kick him up the backside. "If you paint a tree, for God's sake make it look like a tree"- fortunately the academy is a little more open minded now.
This year, the Summer Exhibition will be curated by the British sculptor and Royal Academician Richard Wilson. Wilson presents a varied curation, specifically integrating work by renowned artistic duos such as: a large-scale suspended kite sculpture by Heather and Ivan Morison, two hand-coloured prints from the Human Rainbow II series (2014) band an atmospheric photographic installation from Jane and Louise Wilson. Other highlights include works by Antony Gormley and Tracey Emin, and a colourful illustration by Grayson Perry, pictured.
Every year at the Summer Exhibition, the artworks for sale (which is the majority) most works are for sale, as they are this year; giving visitors the opportunity to by an as work by a leading contemporary artist, or one you just love from someone completely unknown. The proceeds, as with every year, go towards subsiding the RA’s free, world class, post-graduate tuition (- so, long may this continue.)
The Royal Academy’s website states: “The Summer Exhibition 2016 will be unpredictable, stimulating, and enjoyable with 10 startling rooms of contemporary art submitted from around the world. Each of the rooms will be hung by a member of the committee, resulting in themes of free speculation, practice or technique.”