Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2015

June 23, 2015

As an early adopter, nothing thrills me more than when a historical institution steeped in heritage embraces the social media movement. In this specific instance, the Royal Academy of Arts invited us blogging types for a special date. Where? Summer Exhibition 2015. Who? Me and my readers (that's you guys, reading about it now on my blog). 

Royal Academician Conrad Shawcross's 'Steel Clouds' greeted guests as we trickled into the relative serenity of Burlington House courtyard from the bustle of Piccadilly. 

Even more so than towering man-made cloud formations, you just know that summer is here when the chairs (and bare legs) come out to play at the RA courtyard. 

The 'joyous magenta' (a shade I colloquially dub 'Panadol pink') walls chosen by Michael Craig-Martin RA lovingly picked to enhance the individual works hung in Room III. Smack bang in the centre of Room III is a Sipsmith Gin pop-up bar - now that's another gallery accessory I think all art-lovers would appreciate.

Grayson Perry's larger than life 'Julie and Rob' tapestry.

David Mach RA's 'The Great British Drama' - puts my photo diary of Scenes From Royal Ascot 2015 to shame.

My personal favourites are the magenta walls of Room III, the rainbow-hued 'ZOBOP' stairs by Jim Lambie made from 100s of vinyl tape pieces, Matthew Darbyshire’s imposing 'Doryphoros' man in The Wohl Central Hall, and the hyper-realistic Ascot scene of David Mach RA's 'The Great British Drama' (mine for a cool £28,000 - don't you dare snap it up, I'm still looking under my sofa for loose change). After Henry and I perused the multidisciplinary offerings of this year's Summer Exhibition, we skipped across the road to The Wolseley to whet our corporeal appetites, if only to match our cerebral manducations at The Royal Academy. And what a smorgasbord! This year's exhibition is a veritable feast of over 1,100 works; from sculpture, printmaking, photography, and fine art fit to burst from room to room. The RA's annual Summer Exhibition is the world’s oldest open-submission exhibition, counting Turner and Reynolds among its ranks of earliest exhibitors. With many works in the exhibition on sale, the show is also a chance to play both the parts of collector and philanthropist, with sales of the artwork helping the RA to continue the free tuition that they've offered for nearly 250 years. Whether or not you feel like playing Bruce Wayne (sans the secret beating up of baddies), a visit to The Royal Academy of Arts is a must - be a patron of the RA, be a friend, be whatever, just promise me you'll check out this year Summer Exhibition (and next, and next next, and so forth). x

Have you been to this year's Summer Exhibition? Are you a friend or patron of The RA (and if so, can I please be your +1 forever and ever)? Which can't-miss exhibitions in London are on your to-do list for summer?

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  1. Looks like a wonderful exhibition! There's a few exhibitions I'm really looking forward to this summer - in fact I've already blogged about them! You can find them alllll here ! Also if you'd like to link this post up as it's all about summer in London, I'd be delighted!

    Lauren xx

  2. What a riot of colour! Learning more about art is high on my list for the coming year, so I'll be checking this out.

  3. Such a lovely fiesta of images for the senses! Must visit this soon. I need more art in my life x

  4. I'm so glad to hear that Claire! x

  5. LAuren I can't open your link! D: *feels stupid*

  6. Yes you should, it's an incredible exhibition! x

  7. Those magenta walls are amazing, I love the way the Royal Academy keeps reinventing itself. A Sipsmith pop up bar sounds very cool too, and I have a fondness for the secret garden bar in the Keeper's House

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

  8. The RA really knows how to get with the times, doesn't it Suze? I wish I could be as hip when I'm that age! x

  9. Amy JB SmithJune 25, 2015

    I'm heading over on Friday, very excited! Rob and Roberta Smith was a real stand out for me last year - did you see his pieces there?

    If you're not a Friend you should definitely think about it; if only for the membership to Keeper's House, the little bar and fabulous restaurant underground! I'll be doing my write up on Arts End of Nowhere this weekend so eyes peeled :)

  10. I was a friend of the RA back in 2012 but I never renewed my membership! I might do so! x