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The Royal Academy Summer Show

The Royal Academy has had a considerable architectural transformation, with a new lecture theatre, campus  and expanded space for exhibitions.

Concurrently – and to celebrate its 250th anniversary – the summer show curated by Grayson Perry has had a makeover.

I wish I could be more enthusiastic about this year’s summer show but I experienced the same old problems of too many visitors and too many works (1347).

I went  yesterday on Friend’s Day. I had to queue for a day pass as I forgot my RA Friend’s card, queue for a ticket, queue to get in, queue to buy the list of works – essential as it happened as this was the only way to identify the pictures.

On entry to the show it was Oxford Circus tube station at 5-30. It was simply impossible to appreciate the pictures.

It did appear that gone are the days when crusty academicians could contribute their six, everything was far more contemporary, edgy and daring but not necessarily the better for that.

There was picture of a  yellow sign of “unaffordable housing” and another of a Brexit poster.

The great debate within the Academy has been figurative  v abstract but most of the works lay somewhere between the two.

To do the show and the new rooms and spaces justice I shall return on another date, hopefully a less busy one.

About Alice Mansfield

A graduate of the Slade, Alice has painted and written about art all her life. With her children now having now grown up and departed the nest, she recently took up sculpture. More Posts