World’s largest open submission contemporary art show at Royal Academy of Arts

Posted June 10th, 2013 under Contemporary Art, England, Shows


Now in its 245th year, the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2013 will be coordinated by the Royal Academicians Norman Ackroyd RA and Eva Jiricna RA. The Summer Exhibition continues to be the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show, providing a platform for both emerging and established artists to showcase their work to an international audience. The majority of the works will be for sale, offering visitors an opportunity to purchase original artwork by the artists selected for the show. The diverse media will include painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, architecture and film. Marking the start of London’s summer cultural season, the Summer Exhibition will present a snapshot of living artists today and provide a unique experience for visitors to view and buy art.

The works of art have been carefully selected by a committee of ten Royal Academicians and with the guidance of the two lead coordinators, the galleries will exhibit over 1,000 exceptional artworks, many of which will go on public display for the first time.



Printmaker Norman Ackroyd RA will highlight the range and quality of printmaking, as well as hanging works by fellow Royal Academicians and Honorary Royal Academicians. Eva Jiricna RA will co-ordinate the architecture gallery and her curatorial direction will seek to blur the boundaries between architecture and sculpture with particular focus on experimental design. Other members of the Summer Exhibition committee include Humphrey Ocean RA, who will hang the small works’ galleries and John Wragg RA who, together with John Maine RA, will arrange the sculpture galleries.

Grayson Perry RA will show his series of six tapestries entitled The Vanity of Small Differences, telling the story of the rise and demise of Tim Rakewell, inspired by Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress. Exploring Perry’s fascination with aesthetic taste and social mobility, the tapestries are composed of characters, incidents and objects he encountered on journeys through Sunderland, Tunbridge Wells and the Cotswolds.

This year the Summer Exhibition will have a room dedicated to portraiture, which will include photography and works on paper, along with new works by Frank Auerbach, Tom Phillips RA, Michael Craig-Martin RA and Alex Katz. This focus will acknowledge the historic role that portraiture has played at the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition and the enduring importance of this genre within artistic practice today. Further highlights include a new large-scale sculpture by Anthony Caro RA and artwork by the newly elected Royal Academicians Ron Arad, Sean Scully and Jock McFadyen.

Christopher Le Brun, President of the Royal Academy of Arts says, “One of the founding principles of the Academy was to ‘mount an annual exhibition open to all artists of distinguished merit’ to finance the training of young artists in the RA Schools. This has been held every year without interruption since 1769. The Royal Academy receives no public funding so each purchase made at the Summer Exhibition directly contributes to maintaining our free art school’.

Photo credit: Benedict Johnson.

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