Tag Archives: Summer Exhibition

Austerity Measure

I’m always excited about visiting the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy.

One past year had a huge gorilla constructed from coat hangers. Another year I offered to take a reader of this blog on a free tour of the exhibition. Padmini took me up on it. I’ve been a fan. A defender.

But this year… It’s just…

Great to see old favourites – Norman Ackroyd, Anselm Kiefer, Barbara Rae and others. But overall it just didn’t get me going.

It was the Austerity Measure from the Henningham Family Press that most caught my eye.

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Plummy voice is here

My voice as fictional characters.

Air hair lair, it’s old Plummy Voice here.

Something  bizarre and almost unbelievable has happened. Something odder than Rupert Murdoch giving us “the facts Ma’am, just the facts.” Something hitherto thought less likely than Ireland winning the World Cup – the football World Cup that is – not something easy like rugby or cricket. Something even more unusual than an honest politician Continue reading

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And the Word was made flesh (and charming with it)…

On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog. Wasn’t there a cartoon to that effect? (Oh yes. There it is.)

Same with internet dating. That six foot blond Viking type you met online may have been literally telling the truth. You only get to see that he’s also six feet wide when you meet face to face. Which is when you also notice that he smells like a Viking who hasn’t washed since they used to rule England. (True, happened to a mate of mate.)

Speaking of smelly Vikings – did you know they used week-old horse wee to kill bugs in their hair? Couldn’t afford combs. It was the amonia in the aged equine urine that turned their hair blonde. Does that make you feel differently about ABBA?

But the main point is this – how can you be sure that anything or anyone on the net is who they say they are?

Or if they even exist at all?

Well, I can now officially confirm that Padmum does exist.

Remember I asked if anyone wanted to come to the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy with me. Padmum – or Padmini as I now call her – immediately put her hand up.

And she came. All the way from Chennai in India. Chennai! In India! With her daughter Nitila. That’s them in the picture. In the flesh Continue reading

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Academicians, doxies, catamites and hangers-on take a savaging

This year’s Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy feels brighter and more vivid than before – which is reversal of the trend of me feeling that each successive year was less thrilling tan before. Perhaps it’s the less dense hanging or the rearranged route through the rooms or the prominence given to photography. Or perhaps it was the transformed mood I brought in with me. Even the architectural models seemed more accessible than before.

But not everyone is happy. Notoriously cross critic Brian Sewell has been savaging this year’s exhibition -though he found some personal bright spots.

Aurora - lead - Anselm Keifer. I love it. But Brian says it's "a rare failure that could as easily have been made by a Namibian handyman or Uncle George in his garden shed.

So I’m posting his review as another little taster for Padmum. (By the way, when are you coming?)

So here’s Brian’s version:

Last week, on entering the Royal Academy’s courtyard to see its annual Summer Exhibition, I chanced upon a column of Academicians, their doxies, catamites and hangers-on Continue reading

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Some of it is just psychotic

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.

A previous year's selection panel. I think they're saying: "Not quite psychotic enough." Of course, now it's gone the other way. Be careful what you wish for, huh?

Just thought that Padmum  might like to be forewarned Continue reading

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Date for your diary

Winding River - William Steiger (USA) 1997 exhibition

And when I say “date” I mean it in both the calendar and the “let’s meet” sense.

The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition opens on 7th June and runs till 15th August. It’s described (admittedly by the RA itself) as:

An essential part of the London art calendar, The Royal Academy‘s Summer Exhibition is the largest open contemporary art exhibition in the world, drawing together a wide range of new and recent work by established, unknown and emerging artists.

If that sounds good to you, dear Reader, and you’ll be in London, perhaps we can go together? Continue reading

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That gorilla has stolen my coat hanger…

David Mach's Silver Streak (coat hangers)

It’s step back, jaw-droppingly, massively impressive. It makes your twisty metal art mobiles and car aerial replacements seem, frankly, pathetic. Continue reading

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