The Summer Exhibition
When: 13 June — 20 Aug 2017 Times: Sat – Thurs 10am – 6pm Friday 10am – 10pm
The Summer Exhibition represents the art being made today. Visitors will find a panorama of art in all media, from painting, printmaking, film and photography to sculpture, architectural works and performance art.
Where did it start: Almost 250 years ago, the RA’s founding members agreed to hold an “Annual Exhibition of Paintings, Sculptures and Designs … open to all Artists”, to help finance the training of young artists in the Royal Academy Schools. Now, nearly 250 years later, ahead of their big anniversary in 2018, Royal Academician Eileen Cooper, explores themes of discovery and new talent from her unique position as Keeper of the Royal Academy – the Academician who is responsible for supporting and guiding the students.
Cooper takes on the mantle of coordinating the largest open submission exhibition in the world, hanging over 1,200 works by artists established and lesser-known in the space of just eight days. Don’t miss work by internationally renowned artists Rosemarie Trockel, Julian Schnabel, Hassan Hajjaj, Secundino Hernández, Isaac Julien, Tomoaki Suzuki, Mark Wallinger and Sean Scully RA, as well as submissions by new Royal Academicians including Gilbert & George and David Adjaye. Other highlights include Yinka Shonibare RA’s six metre high colourful wind sculpture in the RA Courtyard, and Farshid Moussavi RA’s unique focus on construction coordination drawings in the Architecture Gallery. Where: Main Galleries, Burlington House
Price: £15.50 (without donation £14). Concessions available. Friends of the RA, and under 16s when with a fee-paying adult, go free All ticket prices include £3.50 for a printed list of works.
Exhibition tours These 45-minute introductory tours are free with an exhibition ticket. No booking required. 7pm every Friday from 16 June – 18 August
Matisse in The Studio: See How North and Western Africa influenced his Work
When: 5 August — 12 November 2017 Times: Saturday – Thursday 10am – 6pm Friday 10am – 10pm
Step into the studio of Henri Matisse, filled with the artist’s treasured objects. With a focus exclusively on their important role in his work for the first time, revealing how this eclectic collection took on new life in his transcendent art.
Matisse drew his collection from the far corners of the world: Buddhist statuary from Thailand, Bamana figures from Mali, furniture and textiles from North Africa. Rarely of material value, these objects were nonetheless precious. Offering points of departure to which he could return again and again, they appear in his work in different guises and across spans of decades, reinvented afresh in each new setting.
Matisse’s objects formed his repertoire, but they also provided him with influences from beyond the limits of Western art. African sculpture and masks were a revelation, suggesting more expressive models for depicting the human figure and face. Later, Matisse adorned his Nice studio with props from the Islamic world to create the sensuous sets for his ‘odalisques’, in which a harmonious synergy emerges between figure and object. And as his oeuvre reached its joyous apex in his cut-out period, he looked to the concise precision of Chinese calligraphy and African textiles as he sought to invent his own simplified language of signs.
This sumptuous exhibition offers a rare glimpse into the artist’s personal collection, as well as the paintings, sculptures and drawings it inspired. Seen together, they reveal how Matisse’s masterful vision of rich and masterful energy first stemmed from the collage of patterns and rhythms which he found in the world of objects
Where: The Sackler Wing, Burlington House
Prices: £15.50 (without donation £14). Concessions available. Friends of the RA, and under 16s when with a fee-paying adult, go free. For more info on both exhibitions: https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibitions-and-events
Image Credit: Yinka Shonibare Ballet Africa Type Print Medium Screenprint with glaze on hand-deckled somerset tub sized paper, Size Dimensions 67 x 48 cm