Royal Academy of Arts
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.
Varies with each exhibition
- Museums Association
Matisse in the Studio
- 5 August — 12 November 2017 *on now
Step into the studio of Henri Matisse, brimming with the artist’s treasured objects. Focusing exclusively on their important role in his work for the first time, we will reveal how this eclectic collection took on new life in his transcendent art.
Matisse drew his collection from the far corners of the world: Buddhist statuary from Thailand, Bamana figures from Mali, textiles from Polynesia. Rarely of material value, these objects were nonetheless precious. Offering points of departure to which he could return again and again, they appear in his work in different guises and across spans of decades, reinvented afresh in each new setting.
Matisse’s objects formed his repertoire, but they also provided him with influences from beyond the limits of Western art. African sculpture and masks were a revelation, suggesting more expressive models for depicting the human figure and face. Later, Matisse adorned his Nice studio with props from the Islamic world to create the sensuous sets for his ‘odalisques’, in which a harmonious synergy emerges between figure and object. And as his oeuvre reached its joyous apex in his cut-out period, he looked to the concise precision of Chinese calligraphy and African textiles as he sought to invent his own simplified language of signs.
This sumptuous exhibition offers a rare glimpse into the artist’s personal collection, as well as the paintings, sculptures and drawings it inspired. Seen together, they reveal how Matisse’s masterful vision of richness, balance and vital, fluid energy first stemmed from the collage of patterns and rhythms which he found in the world of objects.
- 23 September — 10 December 2017 *on now
Jasper Johns is regarded as one of the most important artists of the 20th century, and has remained central to American contemporary art since his arrival in New York in the 1950s.
There is no-one is more fitting than Johns to take up the mantle from the likes of Ai Weiwei and Anselm Kiefer for our single artist, Main Galleries shows. As one critic wrote, “few living artists have influenced the course of art as profoundly as Johns” (Evening Standard).
His treatment of iconography and appropriation of objects and symbols, such as his iconic flag and target works, made the familiar unfamiliar. The exhibition brings together the artist’s paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings. From his innovations in sculpture to his use of collage in paintings, the exhibition will give focus to different chapters of Johns’ career.
Dalí / Duchamp
- 7 October 2017 — 7 January 2018
Take another look at two artistic giants: father of conceptual art Marcel Duchamp, and larger-than-life Surrealist Salvador Dalí. This is the first exhibition to throw light on their surprising relationship and its influence on the work of both artists.
On the surface, these two great 20th-century artists could hardly be more dissimilar, but Dalí and Duchamp maintained a lasting bond of friendship and mutual admiration throughout their careers.
What fuelled this seemingly unlikely friendship was deeper than their shared artistic interests – amongst them eroticism, language, optics and games. More fundamentally, the two men were united by a combination of humour and scepticism which led both, in different ways, to challenge conventional views of art and life.
This original exhibition brings together around 60 works, including some of Dalí’s most inspired and technically accomplished paintings and sculptures, and Duchamp’s groundbreaking assemblages and readymades. But it will also showcase the less familiar: photographs by Dalí, paintings by Duchamp, correspondence and collaborations between the two artists.
Presented as a conversation taking place through art, this focused exploration offers fresh ways of looking at two figures, radically revising their familiar places in art history. Through the lens of their intriguing friendship, visitors will gain a new perspective on two equally inventive, intelligent and irreverent minds.
Royal Academy of Arts
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