Royal Academy of Arts

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The Royal Academy of Arts was founded by George III in 1768. Governed by artists to 'promote the arts of design' and was the first institution in Great Britain devoted solely to the promotion of the visual arts. The Royal Academy raised the standing of art, artists and architecture. It has held an annual selling exhibition since its formation and held its first loan exhibition in 1870 of 'Ancient Masters'. It now enjoys an unrivalled reputation as a venue for exhibitions of international importance.

Venue Type:

Gallery

Opening hours

Sat-Thurs 10.00-18.00
Fri 10.00-22.00

Admission charges

Varies with each exhibition

Discounts

  • Museums Association

Collection details

Design, Fine Art, Architecture

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Thinking through drawing: Chris Wilkinson RA

  • 3 September 2015 — 14 February 2016 *on now

Giving a unique insight into the mind of an architect, the RA presents the personal sketchbooks of Chris Wilkinson RA.

To have an architect or artist share their sketchbooks is to be offered an extraordinary window into their creative process, to reveal their observations and their thinking, to see the designer’s mind at work. For an architect, the sketchbook is not just a place to draw, but a place to order thoughts – to graphically and visually gather information and to develop a design response.

This is certainly true for renowned architect Chris Wilkinson RA, who believes passionately in the importance of drawing by hand, particularly in an age dominated by digital media.

This exhibition contains a selection of Wilkinson’s sketchbooks, drawings and watercolours from the last 30 years alongside architectural objects. They reveal his design thinking, from initial site studies and early concepts to design development and construction, through projects such as the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth, Maggie’s Centre in Oxford and the King’s Cross Gasholders.

Admission

Complimentary entry with a valid Royal Academy exhibition ticket, or £3 General Admission ticket. Friends of the RA and under 16s go free.

Website

http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/chris-wilkinson-thinking-through-drawing

Academicians in Focus: Bernard Dunstan RA and Diana Armfield RA

  • 29 October 2015 — 24 April 2016 *on now

Diana Armfield RA and Bernard Dunstan RA have painted in each other’s company for over 65 years, and yet each has a unique approach to their art.

Whether in the vicinity of their two homes in Kew and Wales, or on the many painting trips they have made to Italy and France, Diana Armfield RA and Bernard Dunstan RA have worked in each other’s company for over 65 years. Each has their own approach. Diana responds to still life, landscape and convivial occasions in restaurants and other public places, while Bernard prefers to capture the structure and atmosphere of interiors with the themes of both the intimate nude and the world of musical performance.

Both are admirers of Bonnard, Vuillard, Sickert and William Nicholson. They seem happiest when painting and drawing from life, painting with a wonderful lightness of touch and colour and a strong sense of purpose. Diana and Bernard have spent their lives expressing the beauty of the world around them, undistracted by any desire for the expression of self. They “paint what they love, and love what they paint”.

Diana and Bernard met while studying at the Slade School of Fine Art in the 1940s, and their romance was kindled after Diana saw a painting of Bernard’s at the 1947 Summer Exhibition. Together they have since made painting their life, and between them have been Royal Academicians for 82 years. They are now both Senior Academicians, and in their 96th year, continue to work alongside one another with energy and passion.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Friends, Patrons & Corporate Members have access from 10am, general public from 4pm.

Website

http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/academicians-in-focus-bernard-dunstand-diana-armfield

Between the Land and the Sea: Art Sales at the RA

  • 29 October 2015 — 24 April 2016 *on now

Barbara Rae RA presents works on paper by selected Royal Academicians, including Hughie O’Donoghue, Jock McFadyen, and Elizabeth Blackadder, alongside a number of invited Scottish artists.

This diverse selection of works explores the empathy each artist has with land or sea, or the conjunction of both, rather than any general exploration of landscape or views. Some of the artists are interested in environmental issues, while others explore the historical or contemporary aspects of a locality altered over time by humankind, or transformed by weather.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Friends, Patrons & Corporate Members have access from 10am, general public from 4pm.

Website

http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/between-the-land-and-the-sea

Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse

  • 30 January — 20 April 2016 *on now

Using the work of Monet as a starting point, this landmark exhibition examines the role gardens played in the evolution of art from the early 1860s through to the 1920s.

Trace the emergence of the modern garden in its many forms and glories as we take you through a period of great social change and innovation in the arts. Discover the paintings of some of the most important Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and Avant-Garde artists of the early twentieth century as they explore this theme.

Monet, arguably the most important painter of gardens in the history of art, once said he owed his painting “to flowers”. But Monet was far from alone in his fascination with the horticultural world, which is why we will also be bringing you masterpieces by Renoir, Cezanne, Pissarro, Manet, Sargent, Kandinsky, Van Gogh, Matisse, Klimt and Klee.

For these artists and others, the garden gave them the freedom to break new ground and explore the ever-changing world around them. Highlights include a remarkable selection of works by Monet, including the monumental Agapanthus Triptych, reunited specifically for the exhibition, Renoir’s Monet Painting in His Garden at Argenteuil and Kandinsky’s Murnau The Garden II.

As our galleries are bathed in the colour and light of more than 120 works, see the garden in art with fresh eyes.

Admission

£17.60 (without donation £16). Concessions available. Friends of the RA and under 16s go free.

Website

http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/painting-modern-garden-monet-matisse

Premiums: Interim Projects 2016

  • 12 — 21 February 2016 *on now

Premiums: Interim Projects features the work of artists in their second year at the Royal Academy Schools.

This annual exhibition provides an opportunity to view new work by emerging artists at a point when their work is still developing, during their three-year postgraduate course at the RA Schools, Britain’s first art school.

Vibrant and innovative, Premiums features photography, painting and sculpture alongside video, installation and performance, reflecting the diversity of the RA Schools.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/premiums-interim-projects-2016

In the Age of Giorgione

  • 12 March — 5 June 2016

Trace the development of ideas that changed the course of art in this highly original exploration of the Venetian Renaissance. Bringing together iconic paintings by masters such as Titian and Giorgione, we shed new light on a pivotal yet little-understood moment in the history of art.

Venice, at the beginning of the 16th century: though Bellini is still the leading artist of the day, a younger generation that includes Titian and the enigmatic Giorgione is emerging. Their innovations, combined with the influence of visitors such as Albrecht Dürer and Leonardo da Vinci, are about to usher in a new dawn of Venetian art.

The first great painter to arise during this period is also the most mysterious: little is known about Giorgione’s life, and few works can be definitively attributed to him, yet the elusive poetic quality of his work is so powerful that, despite his early death, his legacy is profoundly felt in Venice and beyond.

This fascinating exhibition seeks to unravel the complex web of influences that shaped the work of many of the most celebrated names in Renaissance art. Masterpieces by Giorgione will be displayed side by side with works by Giovanni Bellini, Albrecht Dürer, Titian, Sebastiano del Piombo and Lorenzo Lotto, among others. Visitors will also have the opportunity to rediscover Giovanni Cariani, a great but now unfamiliar artist in their midst.

Together these important works chart the development of the idealised beauty, expressive force and sensuous use of colour that we recognise today as the hallmarks of Venetian Renaissance painting. Through portraiture, religious paintings and the nascent genre of landscapes, witness a rapid revolution in style as it unfolds in a city on the cusp of its golden age.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£11.50 (without donation £10). Concessions available. Friends of the RA and under 16s go free.

Website

http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/in-the-age-of-giorgione

Summer Exhibition 2016

  • 13 June — 21 August 2016

Get ready to discover your new favourite artist as we head into a summer of colour at the RA. From painting to installation art, you’ll find it all at the Summer Exhibition.

For 247 years, the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition has offered a snapshot of contemporary art – and this year’s exhibition is a riot of colour, variety and discovery with over 1,100 works spilling out from our galleries.

The Summer Exhibition is the world’s oldest open-submission exhibition: its earliest exhibitors included the likes of Reynolds, Constable and Turner. With many works in the exhibition on sale, the show also gives you a chance to own some original art while supporting the historic Royal Academy Schools
artwork sales help us to continue the free tuition that we have offered for nearly 250 years.

With everything from painting, printmaking and sculpture through to installation, photography and film, this is a show unlike any other.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£13.50 (without donation £12). Concessions available. Friends of the RA and under 16s go free.

Website

http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/summer-exhibition-2016

RA Schools Show 2016

  • 22 June — 3 July 2016

The RA Schools Show is the annual exhibition of works by final year students at the historic Royal Academy Schools, the first art school in Britain.

The RA Schools Show is your chance to be the first to see contemporary art created by the next generation of artists. We accept just 17 students each year onto our three year postgraduate fine art course. They represent some of the most talented emerging artists working today and this exhibition is the culmination of their time here.

In a rare opportunity for visitors, we open up the RA Schools studios – normally hidden from public view – to exhibit painting, sculpture, video, installation, photography and live events. Most works are also for sale, making this a compelling visit for anyone interested in collecting contemporary art.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/ra-schools-show-2016

David Hockney RA: 77 Portraits, 2 Still Lifes

  • 2 July — 2 October 2016

David Hockney returns to the RA with a remarkable new body of work. Embracing portraiture with a renewed creative vigour, he offers an intimate snapshot of the LA art world and the people who have crossed his path over the last two years.

After his monumental landscape exhibition burst to life in our Main Galleries in 2012, Hockney turned away from painting and from his Yorkshire home, returning to Los Angeles. Slowly he began to return to the quiet contemplation of portraiture, beginning with a depiction of his studio manager. Over the months that followed, he became absorbed by the genre and invited sitters from all areas of his life into his studio.

His subjects – all friends, family and acquaintances – include office staff, fellow artists, curators and gallerists such as John Baldessari and Larry Gagosian. Each work is the same size, showing his sitter in the same chair, against the same vivid blue background and all were painted in the same time frame of three days. Yet Hockney’s virtuoso paint handling allows their differing personalities to leap off the canvas with warmth and immediacy.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£11.50 (without donation £10). Concessions available. Friends of the RA and under 16s go free.

Website

http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/david-hockney-portraits

Abstract Expressionism

  • 24 September 2016 — 2 January 2017

Abstract Expressionism will forever be associated with the energy and vibrancy of 1950s New York. Artists like Pollock, Rothko and de Kooning injected a new sense of confidence in painting, experimenting with improvisation, spontaneity and colour.

This ambitious and long overdue exhibition will bring together some of the finest works associated with the movement from around the world.

London has seen retrospectives of the most famous proponents of Abstract Expressionism over the decades, but this is the first time since 1959 that the movement as a whole will be represented in one landmark show. It is an opportunity for us re-evaluate an artistic phenomenon, and make the case that far from being unified, Abstract Expressionism was in fact far more complex and ever-changing.

In addition to featuring work of the most celebrated artists associated with the movement: Kline, Pollock, Rothko, Newman, Still, de Kooning, Smith, Reinhardt and Gorky, we will also display work by lesser-known – but no less influential – artists to reveal the extraordinary breadth of a movement that gave New York City an artistic identity for the first time.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£16.50 (without donation £15). Concessions available. Friends of the RA and under 16s go free.

Website

http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/abstract-expressionism

Intrigue: James Ensor by Luc Tuymans

  • 29 October 2016 — 29 January 2017

The theatrical, the satirical and the macabre come together in arresting fashion in the art of James Ensor. Curated by Luc Tuymans, this exhibition will present a truly original body of work, seen through the eyes of one of today’s leading painters.

Despite spending his whole professional life in the Belgian seaside town of Ostend, James Ensor was very successful in his lifetime and exerted considerable influence on the development of Expressionism. An innovator and an outsider, he rebelled against the conservative art teachings of the late 19th century academy in Brussels, drawn instead to the avant-garde salons where his radical creative vision could thrive.

Ensor’s childhood spent among the fantastical treasures of his family’s curiosity shop offers a clue as to how the seeds of this wild imagination were sown. The imagery of masks and carnivals runs through much of his work, from vibrant colours and flamboyant costumes to an ever-present sense of drama and satire.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£11.50 (without donation £10). Concessions available. Friends of the RA and under 16s go free.

Website

http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/james-ensor-luc-tuymans

Royal Academy of Arts
Burlington House
Piccadilly
London
Greater London
W1J 0BD
England

Website

www.royalacademy.org.uk/

E-mail

events.lectures@royalacademy.org.uk

Telephone

020 7300 8000

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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