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The Royal Academy of Arts - Summer Exhibition 2019

Artist Jock McFadyen curated this year's Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy. The scale of the exhibition is breathtaking and I always admire the amount of thought and work that must go into deciding which pieces are placed where.

One of my favourite things about this annual exhibition is the fact that strangers talk to each other when viewing art works, I think it is fantastic that it gets people talking about art.

Today's blog post is mainly visual - let the paintings do the talking! There were hundreds of interesting pictures but I have featured some of my favourites. If you get a chance I highly recommend paying a visit to the Royal Academy of Arts.

The following painting is my favourite this year and if it had not been sold I would have been tempted to buy it myself, it is by artist Toby Ursell and called "Study for a Picasso Emoji". I couldn't stop looking at it!

The exhibition is home to a huge painting called "The Garden of Earthly Delights" by artist Claire Douglas. The main backdrop of the picture is a large park featuring trees, bushes, streams, etc and the painting is populated by hundreds of people - upon closer inspection you can see that some of the people are famous, one of whom is Donald Trump wearing his golf clothes chatting to his golf caddie Nigel Farage! I also spotted David Attenborough feeding a dinosaur, The Queen, Billy Connolly, Vladimir Putin wearing a crop top whilst taking a selfie and Russell Brand doing yoga! You could stare at this painting for hours and spot something you had previously missed, it is a fun painting to look at! It was too large to photograph the whole thing so I took a few photos of various parts of the picture (see below).

The two paintings below are by Jock McFadyen, the one with the moon is called 'Mallaig' and the second one is 'Somewhere in Normandy'. In the past I've seen and admired his paintings of urban scenes and did not realise these lovely pictures were painted by him until I looked up the artist's name.

David Mach produced a wonderful tiger that upon closer inspection one can see is coated in M&S tunstalls tea cake wrappers - absolutely fantastic! So inventive!

I am a great admirer of William Hogarth's paintings and it was interesting to see a painting of him. It is oil on linen and is by artist Hugh Mendes.

Passageway is an archival pigment print by Suzanne Moxhay, I really like this and it is nice to see lesser known artists get a chance to shine.

Dance of the Clouds and Breezes VII is by Bill Jacklin RA, I love the feeling of powerful movement, it makes me feel like I have to hold onto my hat!

Thomas Houseago's ghoulish humanoid sculptures 'welcome' you at the entrace of the Royal Academy of Arts - pass if you dare! You can wander into the courtyard for free but may have nightmares later!

The picture below, 'Parliament of the Big Noses' by artist Chris Orr RA, made me laugh, because it is very true!

John Davies created the piece below, 'My Ghosts' - there are a lot more figures in the original but there were too many people in the way to photograph the whole thing!

The amount of detail in the piece below is spectacular, it is called 'Border Crossing' and is by artist Cathy de Monchaux, there was a very simliar piece by her called 'Refuge' on display last year. The materials used are Copper wire, bandage beads, pigment paint and graphite.

When an artwork sells it gets a red dot and if there are multiple editions of the work, there can be multiple red dots. Sometimes the sight of a red dot validates the work and encourages other buyers. Artist Cornelia Parker has fun with this concept, using a blank image surrounded by red dots to encourage buyers. She started this back in 2013 and now nests previous years' versions within a new frame so the red dots keep building up!

The sculpture below really has a sense of movement, it is very life like. Janet Mullarney created this piece called 'Dancer'.

Denise de Cordova created the piece below, called 'Fear m'Dear', it is a mixture of painting, paper/pigment and embroidery silk. Lovely.

Lee Maelzer painted the picture below, called 'Large Table', it is very realistic.

Stephen Chambers RA produced some fashion house lithograph prints (below).

Red/White - Tree Lights below is an oil painting by artist Joanna Whittle. It has a magical feel about it.

The lovely 'Redcliffe Square' painting below by Ken Howard RA is the sort of picture I would love to hang on my wall at home but priced at £20,000 it is a little out of my price range!

The two pieces below caused a lot of conversation, Tim Long's 'Joey' below and 'A Woman on the City Council' an oil painting by Issac Benigson. Even though they may not be to most people's taste they got people talking and any conversation about art is a positive thing. I enjoyed this year's Summer Exhibition and am looking forward to visiting the RA in the near future.

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