Is it art or is it just psychotic? That’s the judgement call the organisers of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition are making again and again in the run up to opening day next month.
The organisers of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition have told of their struggle to find work worth displaying among thousands of submissions, some of which are “just psychotic”.
The academician curators “have to look hard” to find pieces worth displaying, said Christopher le Brun, who is in charge of hanging the show this year.
Anyone can submit their work as ex-cricketer Phil Tufnell did two years ago. While he was unsuccessful, every year hundreds of amateurs join star exhibitors including Tracey Emin and David Hockney. Le Brun said many amateur submissions were “not terribly good” and added: “There are things amongst them but you have to look hard.”
Olwyn Bowey, 75, in charge of the gallery traditionally packed with smaller works, said “worthy paintings” and flowers and landscapes had been replaced by the “just psychotic”. She suggested skill levels were declining.
Le Brun said that even in art colleges, many life class departments – once regarded as the bedrock of an artist’s training – had closed.
The Summer Exhibition opens to the public on June 7 and runs until August 15
So psychotic is a bad thing then when it comes to art? Right, okay. I’m always learning.
Meanwhile, there’s a sneak preview of one of the bigger exhibits here.