The Royal Acad­emy’s 250th Sum­mer Ex­hi­bi­tion

The Wokingham Paper - - LEISURE - By Jeremy Ed­wards, An­tiqArt

MOST weeks I pick some­thing that I have avail­able for sale in my shop and tell you the back story be­hind that paint­ing or artist, but not this week. Last week I wrote about a piece of mod­ern sur­re­al­ist art by a former po­lice of­fi­cer, well I have had my own sur­real ex­pe­ri­ence this week and I thought I would write and tell you all about it.

A few weeks ago, I was very for­tu­nate to be in­vited to a pre­view event for The Royal Acad­emy’s 250th Sum­mer Ex­hi­bi­tion on Mon­day evening. I felt very hon­oured and priv­i­leged to be go­ing along to view the pin­na­cle of what art has to of­fer in this cel­e­bra­tory year for The Acad­emy be­fore the doors would be opened to the gen­eral pub­lic.

The ex­hi­bi­tion this year has been co-or­di­nated by one of The Acad­emy’s most flam­boy­ant and vo­cif­er­ous mem­bers, Grayson Perry. It was sure to be a spec­ta­cle… and it re­ally didn’t dis­ap­point.

We got dressed up in our best bib and tucker and ar­rived in Lon­don at the ap­pointed time to be greeted at the en­trance gates by an enor­mous sculp­tural piece by Sir Anish Kapoor RA, which was very bright colour­ful and prompted a huge amount of dis­cus­sion, which set the tone for the whole ex­hi­bi­tion.

Once reg­is­tered and inside, the dis­play did ex­actly what I thought it would do – it smacked us right be­tween the eyes with a sea of colour, vi­brancy and good taste jux­ta­posed, at times, with ques­tion­able qual­ity that is typ­i­cal of most things that Grayson

Perry is as­so­ci­ated with. If art is sup­posed to prompt con­ver­sa­tion then this ex­hi­bi­tion is a sure-fire win­ner.

There were some stun­ningly beau­ti­ful pieces of work, my per­sonal favourites were A Gothic Tale by Machiko Ed­mond­son and a large por­trait en­ti­tled Ken Howard OBE RA by Tim Hall, in­ter­spersed with some that made you ques­tion what you were look­ing at and some which sparked a mix of strange emo­tions from confusion to in­credulity through to hi­lar­ity.

I par­tic­u­larly liked the piece en­ti­tled “The Tax­on­omy of The Corn­flake” by Anne Grif­fiths, which made me laugh out loud, but for the right rea­sons, which made it very clever in my book and there­fore ex­tremely mem­o­rable. Of course, there were artists that you would expect to be rep­re­sented there, such as Banksy, Emin, Perry him­self, Howard, Til­son et al, but it was the un­ex­pected artists who won it for me this year.

Pure ge­nius is an im­pos­si­ble thing to quan­tify and a phrase that is all too of­ten bandied around, but this year, I think this is ex­hi­bi­tion is pretty close. S

o full marks to Mr Perry and par­tic­u­larly The Acad­emy for putting on such a spec­tac­u­lar show in this its 250th year. The ex­hi­bi­tion is open to the pub­lic now and runs un­til Au­gust 19 and I can thor­oughly rec­om­mend a visit. Tick­ets are still avail­able from The Royal Acad­emy.

If you are look­ing for high qual­ity orig­i­nal art at af­ford­able prices then please come along to my show­room at Holme Grange and take a look at my own lit­tle ex­hi­bi­tion. Al­ter­na­tively, as ad­ver­tised in this pa­per, we now of­fer a leas­ing arrangement, so now all of our paint­ings, can be rented for a small fixed monthly rental fee. All of our great works are avail­able to view, pur­chase or rent at An­tiqArt, the “pre-loved art” gallery at Holme Grange Craft Vil­lage or on­line at­ or call us on 0118 327 5421.

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