Royal Academy Summer Exhibition – Reviews

Posted on July 9, 2013

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As usual the show got mixed reviews, some awful, some brilliant. Here’s a few extracts:

“In the past I have occasionally discussed the 10 best exhibits and ignored the other 1,200 or so; this year, as there are no best, I thought to choose the 10 worst, but in so universally dismal a gathering, even that has proved impossible and I have only three to offer, all in their own ways so ghastly that I must award them Equal First. They are Lorry Art, by Rose Wylie, a daub worthy of a child of four; Sudden Rain in Mombasa, by Mohammed Abdullah Ariba Khan, who has the impertinence to ask £1,400 for a seascape (in an ornate sham gold frame) of the kind to be expected in a Margate B&B; and The Vanity of Small Differences, Perry’s six tapestries in hideous homage to Hogarth, visually raucous and machine-made offences to all for whom the word tapestry conjures the glories of Mortlake and Brussels.” Brian Sewell – Standard

“Inside, it’s business as usual. Despite annual protestations to the contrary, the format is largely formulaic: a salon hang of 1,200 or so works with pride of place given to the elected Academicians.” Metro

“But this is a great tradition, it is an exhibition selected by artists, hung by artists in the artists’ own galleries – we just choose the best art and try to make sense of it on the walls. It is a truly democratic exhibition.” Ackroyd

“There are many strengths to the Summer Exhibition, not least of which is its pattern of exhibiting new names alongside already established artists. The intensity of the exhibition also never wilts. There’s an energy and a passion in having so many pieces crammed into every nook and cranny of Burlington House, the walls in each gallery covered with paintings, photography and sketches.” Huffington Post

Go take a look for yourself and make up your own mind, there’s still plenty of time, the exhibition closes on 18th August. See my piece “All That Remains” in the sculpture room hung above Cornelia Parker’s vagina.

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