Summer Exhibition 2018
Royal Academy of Arts, London, United Kingdom
12/06/2018 > 19/08/2018

The 2018 Summer Exhibition—the 250th—was indivisible from its coordinator, Grayson Perry. There have been plenty of notable coordinators in the recent past, not least the artist and teacher Michael Craig-Martin in 2015, whose approach, dominated by brightly coloured walls, greatly influenced Perry. But arguably none has developed such a clearly expressed theory of the Exhibition in relation to the wider picture of British public life. It was perhaps an inevitable consequence of inviting a figure, who is an artist first but increasingly renowned, in Britain at least, as a cultural commentator—the maker of television series focusing on taste, class, identity, and masculinity.

Much about Perry’s show was notable, including the show-stopping but rather overblown works he commissioned from Anish Kapoor and Joana Vasconcelos - with Royal Valkyrie -  in the Annenberg Courtyard and Gallery I respectively, and the sprawling, fragmented presence of the show, taking place in some of the main galleries, but with prints in the Sackler Galleries and a discrete “Room of Fun” in the McCauley Gallery in the Royal Academy’s newly restored Burlington Gardens building. But its outstanding characteristic was as a form of social analysis as much as an art show, in which the Summer Exhibition had become its own subject. Gallery III, always the centrepiece of the show, was the only space curated by Perry alone, and it was there that his personality was most palpable, his ideas most distilled: in the “Great Room” of exhibitions past, the Summer Exhibition itself had become a Grayson Perry artwork.

More information here.

Summer Exhibition 2018Summer Exhibition 2018
© James Harris | Cortesia Royal Academy of Arts
Summer Exhibition 2018Summer Exhibition 2018
© David Parry | Courtesy Royal Academy of Arts
Exhibited Artworks