‘Expanded Narcissistic Envelope’, Toby Ziegler
Only a week left to visit the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, which is the best I have ever seen. It was co-ordinated by Grayson Perry and reflects his wit, irony, topical interests and attention to the vernacular. The older generation, exhibiting for fifty years, are there – Hockney, Tilson, Allen Jones, Antony Green and others – and there is the usual sprinkling of amateurs, some of whom have almost no artistic ability. Among the clever and the weird there are conventional paintings that might have been exhibited a hundred years ago.
This is the largest ever summer exhibition, the selectors considering 20,000 submitted works and choosing almost 1,400. They are spread throughout Burlington House, including the recent development which allows you into the RA Schools. All the exhibits are online, but this is my personal selection.
‘Scream’, Sophie Jansson
‘The Bored Horse’, Henry Bateman.
Who chose this? Indeed – who bought it?
‘Nigel Farage MEP’, David Griffiths.
Devotional but does not capture the subject.
‘Fortitude’, Sarah Parkhouse.
Hung high in the gallery but the first work you see.
‘Franz Hals Embodiment’, Anastasia Belous.
One of the works in the show that make you wonder, what is the point of art?
Gallery III, hung by Grayson Perry.
”Mrs Margaret Neave’, Gloria Neave.
Another of the traditional portraits in the show.
A selection of the many, less conventional, portraits of Grayson Perry.
‘The Party’, Heather Nevay.
Reminiscent of Richard Dadd and the Brotherhood of Ruralists. Creepy.
‘Untitled (Triste), Charles Avery
‘Libby Heart’, Sophie Dury
‘Star Cluster’, John Maine
‘Unfaffordable Housing’, Carl Godfrey. ‘The All-Seeing’, Richard C. Smith
‘A Man and a Woman’, Sasha Okun
‘The Inspection: Kim Jong Un & Kim Jong Il Inspecting Lady Gaga’s Homage to Duchamp Urinal’, David Axtell
‘Girl in the Black Dress’, John Wragg
‘Good Morning, Mr Corbyn. How are the Speed Trials Going?’ Len Grey
‘The Battle of Burlington House’, David Mach
‘Rollers’, Mark Denton.
A subversion of Tretchikoff’s ‘Balinese Girl’, now collectable because of its kitchiness.
‘Afternoon at the Angel’, Martin Cox
‘Bunny’, Peter Jones.
Something always unnerving about dolls and pictures of bunny rabbits.
Yet Sooty glove puppets are not in the slightest bit unnerving.
‘Cabinet Members’, Sharon Wilson.
‘The Taxonomy of the Cornflake’, Anne Griffiths.
A bizarrely autistic classification of cornflakes, accompanied by a text that analyses size, shape, edge formation, make, and so on.
‘Human Cargo’ (detail), Paula Rego.
One panel of a triptych, the most powerful and serious work in the show.