London Inspiration: The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

Grayson Perry, Royal Academy, Burlington House, RA, Contemporary Art
Royal Academy, Burlington House, Picca
Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts Credit: Rory Mulve

Always inspiring and held without interruption since 1769, the Summer Exhibition at The Royal Academy provides food for thought and feeds the soul. On until 19th August, it is definitely a perk of summer in the city.

The Royal Academy (RA) was founded in 1768 by a group of 40 artists and architects who became the first Royal Academicians. The first president was Sir Joshua Reynolds, whose statue stands outside Burlington House. Over the past 250 years, the RA has moved location several times, elected hundreds of new RAs and even survived the Blitz – all while continuing to stage an annual Summer Exhibition, elect new members and champion art and architecture in all its forms.

250th Summer Exhibition

Grayson Perry, Royal Academy, Burlington House, RA, Contemporary Art
Grayson Perry – Selfie with Political Causes – The artist and Paragon | Contemporary Editions Ltd.

This is the 250th Summer Exhibition and has been curated by contemporary artist Grayson Perry, known for his vases and tapestries and his observations of the contemporary art scene and dissection of British fashions and foibles. The exhibition aims to represent what is happening in the art world right now, with new and recent art works created by emerging artists as well as some of the biggest names in contemporary art and architecture: showcasing a variety of work in all media, including painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, architecture and film. The exhibition provides a unique window onto all areas of the contemporary art world and includes works by Anish Kapoor RA, David Hockney RA, Joana Vasconcelos, Wolfgang Tillmans and Tracey Emin.

Brulington House, Royal Academy, RA
Burlington House façade, Royal Academy of Arts Credit: Fraser Marr

The Royal Academy is located on London’s Piccadilly and in addition to the wonderful Summer Exhibition also provides the perfect spot for a morning coffee, or a pre dinner summer drink:  The Courtyard Café outside Burlington House offers a light menu and wonderful views across the courtyard.

Mayfair and St James’s are famed for their art galleries, which include such illustrious names as Halcyon, Redfern, Gagosian and Pace, which is located on Burlington Gardens and shares space with The Royal Academy.

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