Posts Tagged ‘Royal Academy’

Here as promised are details of the artworks featured in my last post. Because I drifted around snapping only the pieces that immediately appealed to me without taking much notice at the time  of pricing, this year’s selection has turned out to be rather over the top from a financial point of view.  Apart from a couple. But there is art available at the Royal Academy that wouldn’t break the bank…so if you get the chance to see for yourself, then I’d recommend getting a ticket.

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“ALL THE FISH IN THE SEA” by David Mach, RA £56,000

 

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“MIGRATION” by Cathy de Monchaux £35,000

 

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“GOLDENGROVE” by Christopher le Brun £168,000

 

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“SATCHEL” and “LIBERTY BODICE” by Valerie Bradbury £500 each

 

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“VENICE TRIPTYCH” by Ken Howard RA £20,000

 

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“SPRING GARDEN, UNDER FROST” by Frederick Cuming RA £25,000

 

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“SNOW IN HYDE PARK” By Ken Howard RA £38,000

 

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“AVOCADO COCONUT EGG (ACE) by El Anatsui Hon RA Price on application!

 

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“KOZANJI: WINTER FIRE” by Ian MacKenzie Smith £4,000

Now, since I went to the exhibition and made my selection and with the Olympics about to burst forth, I settled down the other night and watched an interesting documentary about Tom Daley, Britain’s high-diving medal hope. When I next looked at that last painting, above, all I can see now are a pair of blue Speedo’s and some yellow legs behind a wafting scarlet scarf. Funny how perceptions can be changed, isn’t it?

Oh, and if I were to make a choice and money was no object, then from the above selection I’d probably go for Frederick Cuming’s ‘Spring Garden, Under Frost.’ (I like the colours which remind me slightly of a Patrick Procktor painting a friend once owned).  I discounted the bottle top wall-hanging on account of its size and also because I imagine it would need dusting. Ever practical when it comes to housework avoidance, you see!

The Summer Exhibition  runs until 21 August. Galleries open at 10.00am until 6.00pm, late evenings till 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

 

 

 

 

 

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This is a short post following on from my last one where I left you on tenterhooks just waiting to know if you can spot an expensive piece of art work, so without further ado, here are the details.

Colony – January in acrylic and mixed media is byimage Royal Academician Barbara Rae and for sale at a mere £57,000.

 

 

 

 

The Old House Dreams it is Still There imagein egg tempura is by Peter Messer and is priced at £4,850.

 

 

 

 

 

Mississippi River Blues image

is a carborundum relief in titanium white ink on paper painted with a mars black wash created by Royal Academician Richard Long. As one of an edition of two, it will set you back £80,000. (I’ve suddenly gone off this one although I think it looks very striking against the pink wall).

 

 

Flower Window,image an oil, is a tiny painting in a modest wooden frame by David Barrow and very affordable at £200.

 

 

 

 

 

Afternoon Skaters is an oil painting by Bill Jacklin,

imageanother Royal Academician. This one retails at £40,000.

 

 

 

 

 

Stolen Thunder III by Cornelia Parkerimage is a digital print which will cost you £850.

 

 

 

 

 

So, what price art? What would you buy and why. Enjoyment or investment? Who decides on the value of modern art? I’ll leave that open to discussion. It’s far too big a subject for me to pontificate alone.

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There are some things in this country that are quintessentially British and come around on the annual calendar with seemingly ever increasing speed – The Royal Garden Parties, for instance, Wimbledon lawn tennis and the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy.

The latter opened for this summer season last week, so on Sunday we toddled off to London to take a look. Arriving at Burlington House in Piccadilly, flags heralded the celebrated event. The first exhibit can be seen through the open gates to the courtyard. A massive steel structure consisting of different sized tetrahedrons welded together, this sculpture by Conrad Shawcross is entitled “The Dappled Light of the Sun,” which is all very well but as we wandered underneath this colossal skeleton on an overcast morning, the artist’s intention I feel was all but lost.

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Burlington House, Piccadilly

The Summer Exhibition is the largest open submission exhibition in the world and has been staged by the Royal Academy every year since 1769 without interruption. It provides an unrivalled platform for established and emerging artists to display and sell their work. The Academy takes a commission from every work sold and this, together with ticket sales for the event, go towards funding post-graduates at the RA Schools.

The RA Schools was founded in 1769, and remains independent. This enables the Schools to offer the only three-year postgraduate programme in Europe. The pluralisation comes about because when it was first founded, students were required to master a number of different artistic elements in a particular order. Each element was known as a separate ‘School’. Today The RA is more flexible in its expectation but the original name has stuck.

There are around one thousand pieces on display, each having been through an arduous selection procedure, the first of which is done digitally on-line. If the artist is fortunate enough to go through to the next round, their artwork is put before a selection panel consisting of Royal Academicians.

Art work is priced from £100 to nearly £100,000 – and many of the exhibits were already sporting a red dot, signifying its ‘sold’ status. I loved this tongue-in-cheek work by Cornelia Parker – and the fact that it had got through the selection process. Just shows that artists have a sense of humour. I wonder who bought it though.

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Stolen Thunder III

Upon entry you get given a little ‘List of Works’ handbook containing the artists’ names, titles and prices of their work. I thought it would be entertaining to waft around, pick out the pieces I liked and check the provenance afterwards. Interestingly, most of the paintings I picked were by known contemporary artists which probably says more about me than the state of British modern art but there you go.

So here are a few of my chosen miscellany, sporting titles only. See if you can pick out the most and least expensive of my selection.

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Colony – January

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The old house dreams it is still there

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Mississippi River Blues

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Flower Window

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Afternoon Skaters

The show this year was curated by Michael Craig-Martin, a Royal Academician. His vision to paint the walls of one of the largest rooms a bright pink may shock some but I think it brought the hung paintings alive and complemented the gilding on the ceiling, showing off the classical architecture of this building in an innovative way. The Central Hall was also painted in a vivid peacock turquoise which looked opulent and fantastic.

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Wonderful pink walls. Those neon bubbles are by Michael Landy and are one of the few items not for sale.

In previous years the exhibits have been crowded together, almost jostling for position creating a chaotic, busy sensation. This year the whole effect is of calm but stylish order and while ideally I’d like the gallery to myself, by going early we avoided the crowds.

The Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy runs until the 16 August and is open every day from 10am till 6pm.

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The Royal Academy in London recently housed a retrospective of Edouard Manet’s portraits; apparently this particular permutation has never been shown before, despite pictures of his literary, artistic and political peers, together with his friends and family accounting for half his total output.

So, as the exhibition was nearing the end of its run, a few friends and I fought our way along Piccadilly to see for ourselves this belle époque spectacle. Clutching our soon-to-be irrelevant timed tickets, my heart plummeted when we were faced with the prospect of viewing these fabulous paintings in a shuffling queue of at least five deep.

While it’s great that so many people want to view these treasures, I wish that there was some way of diluting the crowds. Timed ticketing doesn’t work because there is no shepherding out of the gallery at the other end. If only a certain amount of people were allowed in at any one time, they could ring a bell at the end of a designated timed session: viewers could then leave for the gift shop or restaurant and let the next batch of eager art lovers in. It’s at times like this my commuter elbows come into their own and  my height is a bonus  – in other circumstances, such as buying jeans, it’s something of a nightmare – but that’s another story entirely.

However, despite the gallery resembling Piccadilly Circus in the rush hour, the exhibition was delightful – some of the paintings were familiar, some had never been previously exhibited – some are unfinished. I wondered if Manet would have approved the selection. There were scenes of the artist’s friend Monet with his family in their Normandy garden; a picture of Emile Zola at his desk; we had fun spotting Manet himself among his contemporaries in an early work, Music in the Tuileries Gardens.

music in the tuileries gardens

music in the tuileries gardens

I never understand why curators choose the paintings they do – or, more importantly, choose which ones to leave out, and why? Le déjeuner sur l’herbe, was smaller and less colourful than I had imagined, but The Bar at the Folies-Bergère, the painting which I think is instantly recognisable as a Manet, and depicts beautifully Parisian cafe society, was conspicuously absent. Odd, when Le déjeuner had to come from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and the Folies resides at the Courtauld Institute, less than a mile away.

le dejeuner sur l'herbe

le dejeuner sur l’herbe

Later in the week I popped into the Courtauld for the Becoming Picasso exhibition, which concentrated on the year he had his first exhibition at the precocious age of nineteen. No queues, no crowds, no timed tickets – the best way to view paintings. On top of this I was able to pick up, free of charge, a very informative teaching pack complete with CD – and – I was able to view, at my leisure, The Bar at the Folies-Bergère.

the bar at the Folies-Bergere

the bar at the Folies-Bergere

Double Whammy – marvellous!

All pictures borrowed from Wikipedia!

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