From Life (Royal Academy of Arts, WC1, 11 Dec to 11 Mar) starts with the retrograde practice of drawing from life that once formed the core of artistic training at the RA Schools. Yet while its roster of contemporary artists includes those who continue working from life in a more traditional sense, there is plenty of work that’s attached to the real world by only the loosest threads. On the one hand, we get Antony Gormley, whose rusted metal everymen are cast from his own form, and Jeremy Deller, who got artists together at the RA to draw rock great Iggy Pop. Then there are Yinka Shonibare and Jonathan Yeo (work pictured), who are exploring a 21st-century medium inspired by the appearance of life: virtual reality. And pushing our notion of the real in other ways is Gillian Wearing who, with the aid of makeup and costumes, inhabits the identities of those she depicts. It’s a lineup that suggests this take on the “life class” will be anything but fusty and dusty.