ART & CULTURE
The Summer Exhibition is really something quite special. The world’s longest running open submission exhibition, it hasn’t missed a year since the Royal Academy was opened in 1769 – including during both world wars. So, it’s no surprise that things have marched on during Covid-19, despite starting a little later than usual both this year and last. A showcase of prints, paintings, photography, sculpture and architectural design, there is truly something that appeals to everyone.
Coordinated by Yinka Shonibare RA, alongside a panel of artists, this year’s theme “Reclaiming Magic” is particularly playful. It is full of colour and plenty of tongue in cheek political commentary, reflecting Shonibare’s own focus on “colonialism and post-colonialism in the context of globalisation”. He has taken the opportunity to fill the cavernous rooms with artists who may have been marginalised in the West — including self-taught artists and those with disabilities — alongside more recognisable names. The result is room after room of vibrancy. It is a must see.
And for those looking a little extra added fun, the Summer Exhibition Bar is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Grayson Perry, Chris Whitty’s Cat, Bronze, 48 x 48 x 20 cm. Edition of 10 plus 1 artist’s proof (AP 1/1), © Grayson Perry. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Mir0
Yinka Shonibare, Mayflower, All Flowers, Relief print with woodblock and fabric collage on somerset tub sized satin 410gsm paper, 111.5 x 103 cm, Courtesy the artist and Cristea Roberts Gallery, London © Yinka Shonibare
Mali Morris, Colour Go Round (7), Acrylic on canvas, 90 x 90cm, Courtesy of the artist
And finally, some really great stories about Summer Exhibitions of the past. Well worth a read!