My friend and I have already been to see the Summer Exhibition – the annual art show at the Royal Academy that has taken place since 1769 under the patronage of King George III that is now a well established part of the cultural life of the nation. It’s an odd exhibition to be honest – the largest open contemporary art exhibition in the world, drawing together a wide range of new work by both established and emerging artist but there are so many paintings that it’s a little bit mind blowing. If you are new to the game and don’t know the famous or up and coming “must haves” by artists then all you have to do is follow the little red dot. It’s extraordinary how some pictures and even little groups of pictures are hotter than others. Especially when some of the pieces cost £55,000 and others £150 – what we all like best is a famous artist’s limited edition print – a scribbled Tracey Emin for £150 because those are the ones that attract the most red dots – by day two she will probably have exceeded her limit of say a limited edition of 150. I’m not surprised she enters around five drawings – do the maths – it must be an incredibly lucrative event for her every year.
I’m quite sure a huge amount of work goes in to dividing up the artworks into their relevant sub-sections, but I can’t quite work out how each piece gets allocated a wall space or put with others and one of the classic comments we heard whilst wandering around was “well, it was crap last year and it is still crap this year”. The big contention this year is a room dedicated to “taste” – six tapestries by the extraordinary Grayson Perry called “The Vanity of Small Difference”s. They are quite astonishing works of art. So unusual and challenging. In Bayeux tapestry style he depicts a modern day scene of death and destruction, tracing the rise and fall of a 21st century man.
This one was brilliant – talk about life imitating art….or art imitating life – entitled “Stolen Thunder” by Cornelia Parker RA – there are 100 of them to be had at £250 each – again, a nice little earner:-
I like this one of the bees – again another popular one and the show hasn’t even opened to the general public yet – guess the good ones go before the public are even allowed in:-
The summer Exhibition is open to the public from June 10th and runs until August 18th, admission £10