Summer Exhibition 2010 at the Royal Academy of Arts review

Royal Academy of ArtsThis weekend is your last chance to see the Royal Academy of Arts’ Summer Exhibition, so if you’ve managed to miss it up to now, get your adze in gear because it’s definitely worth the effort. Closing on the 22nd August 2010, the exhibition is packed almost to the rafters with a massive collection of art in all types of media, from paint to architectural modelling, selected from the 11,000 submissions that entered the world’s largest open submission contemporary art exhibition.

Now in its 242nd year, the Summer Exhibition is a celebration of contemporary art from established and up and coming artists. The majority of the pieces are up for sale too, but most of them have been sold already, however, there are still more than a few available and prices range from £16 to £265,000.

One of the most impressive pieces at the exhibition is David Mach RA’s Silver Streak, a twenty foot tall gorilla made out of coat hangers that perfectly captures the “raw” theme of the exhibition. The hooks on the outside give the statue an impressive blurred 3D effect, but take little away from the level of detail in the piece.

There are even a few entries from the Roald Dahl illustrator, Quentin Blake, featuring Alfie and Mr Hoppy from Esio Trot, amongst others.

In addition to the well know names and sensational installations, there are more than a few eye-catching works tucked away throughout the 15 room exhibition. Hughie O’Donoghue’s Sanguineto looked stunning with it’s bullfigher-esque pose, and Chris Humphrey’s Green Heron Printed in Red / A Mum With a Gun had an erie draw to it.

Mark Clarke’s Seated Nude With Earing has a subtle majesty, and Greg Genestine-Charlton’s A Good Example of a Man Resting his Bones After a Good Life’s Work is a powerful snapshot of the passage of time.

Anselm Kiefer’s Einschüsse is epic in it’s size, style and built up texture, while Butchery by Ruth Dupre grabs and holds your attention with its inexplicably gruesome connotations. David Mach’s brilliant collage, Babel Towers, is an impressive juxtaposition of cultural homes and Valiliki Gkotsi’s Self steals the best self portrait prize of the exhibition for me.

The architecture gallery added some more practical concepts to the raw of the summer exhibition, but even here Sir Peter Cook’s Pop Garden and Margaret Bursas New Local, New York echoed the break from convention of the rest of the exhibition.

If you’re lucky enough to make it to the Royal Academy of Arts’ Summer Exhibition 2010 before it closes, then make sure you leave yourself lots of time, because you’re going to need it.

Summer Exhibition 2010 at the Royal Academy of Arts review: 4.9/5

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