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The Guardian - The Guide - - Exhibitions - Skye Sher­win

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.

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