Royal Academy’s delayed Summer Exhibition opens for autumn

The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition has gone on display, after being delayed to autumn for the first time in its history.

The annual event, now on to its 252nd edition, has taken place every year without interruption since 1769, even throughout the two world wars.

Turner Prize-nominated siblings Jane and Louise Wilson have co-ordinated the exhibition – the first time it has been curated by an artistic duo.

Royal Academy of Arts ‘summer’ exhibition
Royal Academy of Arts ‘summer’ exhibition

This year, works reflect on climate change, pro-democracy protest and landscape, in the form of installation, painting, film, photography and sculpture.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, much of the preparation for this year’s exhibition was done virtually.

Filmmaker and installation artist Isaac Julien curated the first two galleries and his selection of invited artists forms an homage to the late curator and art historian Okwui Enwezor.

Royal Academy of Arts ‘summer’ exhibition
Royal Academy of Arts ‘summer’ exhibition

Sculptor Richard Deacon has curated the sculpture gallery, while two other Royal Academicians have curated their galleries virtually.

Eileen Cooper is managing prints and Stephen Farthing is working from Jordan curating galleries three and nine.

Royal Academicians and Honorary Academicians are also showcasing new works, including Tracey Emin, Rebecca Horn, Anselm Kiefer and Ai Weiwei.

Royal Academy of Arts ‘summer’ exhibition
Royal Academy of Arts ‘summer’ exhibition

This year’s exhibition introduces “invisible walls” that hang from the ceiling on wires to accommodate both two-dimensional works and video screens.

The Royal Academy received more than 18,000 entries, with around 1,000 works going on display.