Summer Exhibition – RA The annual Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy; the largest exhibition with open-submission; is now in its final week, closing on the 16th of August. This was only my second visit to this prestigious exhibition and I must say: I was very impressed.
This year’s theme was “A Summer of Colour”. A theme that could not be missed; and was certainly not understated; as visitors walk into the foyer of the Royal Academy. As soon as you walk in, you are confronted with Jim Lambie’s “Zobop” that had been installed directly on the steps leading to the gift shop and gallery doors using multi-coloured vinyl tape.
It is impossible to overlook the vertically placed vibrant lines that welcome you into the space of colour. The decorated floor space was meticulously placed to highlight and compliment the staircase’s architecture rather than to create a masking effect Royal Academician, Michael Craig-Martin, deliberately curated this space as a way to extend the exhibition space beyond the gallery walls.
Time-lapse of the installation process:
Beyond the staircase, there seems to be an emphasis on a conversation between the viewer, vibrant colour and the architectural space in which over 1,100 pieces have been displayed. Walls in different spaces within the gallery had been painted in unconventionally bright hues bringing the space as well as the pieces within the space together in a very different conversation had the walls been painted in white. That said, some rooms were indeed whitewashed but, it seems to me that that decision was a very deliberate one. Spaces that were dedicated to small pieces and architecture remained white. I believe, that decision was made in order to make sure that the pieces within the room remained the focus rather than being enveloped in overwhelming colour. Larger pieces are better able to handle a coloured backdrop whereas smaller pieces may appear to be swallowed whole defeating the purpose of the exhibition and robbing the viewer of a conversation.
Truth be told, I found far too many pieces that were displayed to be particularly interesting. It is extremely difficult to choose which piece to write about only because there are so many. The pieces which I chose to write about are listed below. Please click on the links to be redirected to posts dedicated to each piece.
- Reigning Apps and Blogs by Derek Boshier
- Double Dipper Self-Portrait and Fifty Years Ago: Then and Now by Anthony Green
The list/links above will be updated as posts become ready to publish in the very near future