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Matisse in the Studio - Royal Academy of Arts

Exhibition preview

THIS summer (August 5 to November 12, 2017), the Royal Academy of Arts will present Matisse in the Studio, the first exhibition to consider how the personal collection of treasured objects of Henri Matisse (1869-1954) were both subject matter and inspiration for his work.

To reveal the working processes by which these pieces were transformed in his oeuvre, around 35 objects will be displayed alongside 65 of Matisse’s paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and cut-outs.

Matisse’s eclectic collection ranged from a Roman torso, African masks and Chinese porcelain to intricate North African textiles from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He selected these objects primarily for their aesthetic appeal and although not generally rare or the finest examples of the traditions to which they belonged, they were of profound significance to Matisse’s creative process.

Most of the objects are on loan from the Musée Matisse, Nice, and several others are from private collections, which will be publicly exhibited outside France for the first time.

The exhibition will explore how Matisse continuously returned to his collection throughout his working life and how the objects were reconsidered, depending on the pictorial environment into which they were placed. In 1951 he said, “I have worked all my life before the same objects…. The object is an actor. A good actor can have a part in ten different plays; an object can play a role in ten different pictures.”

Matisse’s objects were vital creative stimulus, so much so that he travelled with them, even to temporary residences, and letters to family members often included requests for objects to be moved from Paris to Nice.

Matisse in the Studio will be arranged around five thematic sections.

The Object as an Actor will show how Matisse reconceived elements of his collection in different works over various periods throughout his career. A simple Pewter Jug, 1917 (Private collection), an Andalusian glass vase (Musée Matisse, Nice), and a chocolate pot given to Matisse as a wedding present (Private collection) reappear under varying guises in several works created over an extended period of time, including Safrano Roses at the Window, 1925 (Private collection) and Still Life with Shell, 1940 (Private collection).

The Nude primarily focuses on Matisse’s collection of African sculpture and the ways in which these works led him to radical innovations in portraying the human figure. A number of Matisse’s sculptures will be included, such as Two Women, modelled 1907-8, cast 1908 (Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C). Works representing the nude from other cultural traditions were also important to Matisse, including Bamana figural sculptures from Mali (Private collection) and a statue of the goddess Nang Thorani from Thailand (Musée Matisse, Nice), as well as contemporary photography.

The Face explores how he conveyed the character of his sitters without resorting to physical likeness. Many of Matisse’s portraits borrow motifs and ideas from traditions emphasising the simplification of human features, particularly from the African masks that he owned. Paintings by Matisse including The Italian Woman, 1916 (The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York) and Marguerite, 1906-7 (Musée Picasso, Paris) will be hung alongside objects such as an African Pende mask (Private collection), a small bronze bust of the Buddha from Thailand, and a French medieval head of a saint (both from Musée Matisse, Nice).

The Studio as Theatre will centre around the Nice interiors from the 1920s, in which Matisse increasingly relied on studio props from the Islamic world, such as North African furniture, wall hangings and Middle Eastern metalwork, accentuating the importance of pattern and design in his continuing search for an alternative to the western tradition of imitation. Highlights by Matisse within this gallery include The Moorish Screen, 1921 (Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia).

The final section, The Language of Signs will feature Matisse’s late works and the inventive language of simplified signs in his cut-outs. Objects from his collection, including a Chinese calligraphy panel and African kuba textiles, will be exhibited alongside the artist’s cut-outs exemplified by Panel with Mask, 1947 (Designmuseum Danmark, Copenhagen), illustrating how, in his own words, “The briefest possible indication of the character of a thing. A sign.”

Matisse in the Studio will offer an intimate insight into Matisse’s studio life and artistic practice, exploring how the collage of patterns and rhythms, which he found in the world of objects, played a pivotal role in the development of his masterful vision of colour and form.

Matisse in the Studio is organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in partnership with the Musée Matisse, Nice. The exhibition is curated by Ann Dumas, Royal Academy of Arts, Helen Burnham, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Ellen McBreen, Associate Professor of Art History, Wheaton College.

Matisse in the Studio is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. Authors include Suzanne Preston Blier, Jack Flam, Claudine Grammont, Hélène Ivanoff and Marie-Thérèse Pulvenis de Seligny.

Image: Henri Matisse, Still Life with Seashell on Black Marble, 1940. Oil on canvas, 54 × 81 cm. The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow. Photo © Archives H. Matisse © Succession H. Matisse/DACS 2017.

Admission: £15.50 full price (£14 without Gift Aid donation); concessions available; children under 16 and Friends of the RA go free. To book, call 020 7300 8090 or visit

Times: Daily from 10am to 6pm (last admission 5.30pm); Late night opening: Fridays until 10pm (last admission 9.30pm).

Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD

Also at the Royal Academy of Arts: Summer Exhibition 2017 (June 13 to August 20, 2017).

Artists Announced for Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2017

Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2017 selectors George Shaw, Caroline Achaintre and Elizabeth Price.

Exhibition preview

NEW Contemporaries has announced this year’s selected artists with support from Bloomberg New Contemporaries. The panel of guest selectors comprising Caroline Achaintre, Elizabeth Price and George Shaw has chosen 47 artists for the annual open submission exhibition.

Selected artists for Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2017 are: Raen Barnsley, Calum Bowden, Eleanor Breeze, Christy Burdock, Robbie Campbell, Neil Carroll, Sofia Caselli, Adam Castle and Ed Twaddle, Tereza Červeňová, Sarah Cockings and Harriet Fleuriot, Declan Colquitt, José R. Cordeiro, Jake Elwes, Darek Fortas, Rufus Roma Genn, Matthew Gough, Thomas Greig, Tom Hatton, Caitlin Hazell, Gabriella Hirst…

…Jack Howell Evans, Hettie James, Jack Killick, Carla Lavin, James Laycock, Gal Leshem, Melissa Magnuson, Lucy Mayes, Amanda Moström, Rhona Mühlebach, Nathan Roy Newton, Robbie O’Keeffe, Irvin Pascal, Katarzyna Perlak, Seth Pimlott, Tom Platt, Glen Pudvine, Maïa Régis, Harriet Rickard, Martin Sekera, Devlin Shea, Felix Treadwell, David Walker Kennedy, Max K Weaver and Michaela Yearwood-Dan.

Showcasing new and recent fine art graduates since 1949, the roster of alumni encompasses significant post-war figures such as Frank Auerbach and Paula Rego; pop artists including Patrick Caulfield and David Hockney; decade-defining YBAs Damien Hirst and Gillian Wearing; alongside other significant contemporary figures such as Tacita Dean, Mark Lecky, Mona Hatoum, Mike Nelson, Chris Ofili and Rebecca Warren.

More recently Ed Atkins, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Rachel Maclean and Laure Prouvost have all been selected.

For the first time the national touring exhibition will launch at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead and BALTIC’s project space at BALTIC 39, Newcastle upon Tyne from September 29 to November 26, 2017. The exhibition will then travel to Block 336, London, from January 27 to March 3, 2018.

Through Bloomberg Philanthropies’ long term support, New Contemporaries continues to open up new initiatives for participants including access to a number of professional development opportunities aimed at making their practices more sustainable.

Kirsty Ogg, Director, New Contemporaries said: “New Contemporaries has championed emerging contemporary art practice for 68 years. This year is no exception, with a number of selected works directly reflecting the seismic shifts in global politics, the resulting exhibition represents the energy coming out of UK art schools today.”

As a National Portfolio Organisation, New Contemporaries is a registered charity supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Image: Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2017 selectors George Shaw, Caroline Achaintre and Elizabeth Price.

London’s History: Family events at Westminster Abbey this half-term

Westminster Abbey - Amy Murrell.

Events preview

JOURNEY through London’s past this half-term, with special activities for children and families at Westminster Abbey – from Tuesday, May 30 to Saturday, June 3, 2017.

All activities are suitable for children aged 3+, and are free with entry to the Abbey.

Westminster Abbey Passport – Tuesday, May 30 and Thursday, June 1 from 10am – 12pm and 1pm – 3pm.

Make your Westminster Abbey Passport to take you on an adventure through the history of this London landmark. Through games, challenges and art, discover coronation traditions, learn about famous Londoners, and find Dick Whittington’s cat!

Tours – Tuesday, May 30 and Thursday, June 1 at 11.30am and 1.30pm.

Join a guided tour through the rich history of the Abbey, and explore 1,000 years of London’s past.

Family Day: London’s Memory – Saturday, June 3 from 10am – 3pm.

Join in activities throughout the day, with a chance to dress for your own coronation, recreate a stained glass window, or drop into the cloisters for trails, stories and dressing up.

Terence Spencer: A Lasting Impression - Proud Camden

Sir Richard Branson

PROUD Galleries will be hosting Terence Spencer: A Lasting Impression, a playful retrospective exploring the youth and vivacity of one of Britain’s most defining decades.

On display from June 1 to August 20, 2017, this unique exhibition features the many faces, fashions and sounds of the Swinging Sixties with prints showcasing iconic stars in their prime alongside the beauty of ordinary life and every-day style.

Born during a Zeppelin raid in 1918, Spencer was a dynamic and hardworking storyteller who went on to carve two celebrated careers.

Prior to his success as a photographer, Spencer served in the R.A.F. flying Spitfires. Daring, adventurous and bold, he was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross and Croix de Guerre and continued to live vivaciously following ceasefire.

In the aftermath of the war, Spencer embarked on his photographic career with the American photojournalism Magazine, LIFE, documenting world events and crises in areas of conflict across the globe. Speaking to a journalist in his later years, Spencer remarked that he was never nervous about being injured, humorously adding: “The only time I was ever hurt was when I was attacked by Paul McCartney after I discovered his hideaway in Scotland.”

Proud Galleries will exhibit a charming collection of the late Terence Spencer’s prints, swapping scenes of violence for social enlightenment and cultural idols in booming Britain. Persuaded by his daughter Cara and her admiration of The Beatles, Spencer went on to tour with the band for six months. During this time he photographed their movements behind scenes, helping Ringo with his own photography and collating an enviable archive of over 5000 negatives.

Throughout the 1960s and beyond, Spencer used his experience as a photojournalist to document the fashions, youth culture, ground-breaking music and elated dreams of the generation, capturing the faces of real people, models, actors, designers, writers, and sportsmen alike. Spencer’s gregarious flair and ability to put his subjects at ease yielded photographs with an intrinsic light-heartedness.

The star-studded collection is complete with natural shots of Muhammad Ali and Marianne Faithfull alongside photographs of entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson captured in the bath with a model aeroplane.

Proud Camden will celebrate a deeply humanising, honest collection of Terence Spencer’s extensive archive which embodies the liberalised popular culture of the ‘60s and offers a nostalgic snapshot of a dynamic period of social change and musical revolution.

Image: Sir Richard Branson courtesy of Proud Galleries © Terence Spencer/Camera Press.

Admission: Free.

Times: Monday to Friday, 11am – 5pm; Saturday to Sunday, 11am – 4pm.

Proud Camden, The Horse Hospital, Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8AH

Gianfranco Rosi Retrospective - ICA

Gianfranco Rosi shooting Fire At Sea, 2015.

Exhibition preview

FROM May 10 to May 14, 2017, the ICA is hosting the first ever solo UK retrospective dedicated to the cinema of Gianfranco Rosi – a unique and unprecedented opportunity to watch the films and share and exchange questions and perspectives directly with the filmmaker before and after each screening.

For the first time in the UK, the ICA hosts a complete retrospective of Gianfranco Rosi’s entire body of work. A series of screenings and conversations provide an opportunity to encounter the stories and characters of the Golden Bear and Golden Lion-winning Oscar-nominated Italian filmmaker.

The cinema of Gianfranco Rosi challenges the viewer constantly to find a new way of experiencing narratives. Rosi’s films go to the essence and the essential. They engender dialogues between the auteur, the subject matter and the spectator, with a particular emphasis on places and displacements.

The season offers a frame through which viewers look at the life of a boatman from Varanasi (Boatman, 1993) before moving to communities living on the fringes of society (Below Sea Level, 2008). They then find themselves face-to-face with a masked drug lord from Mexico (El Sicario, Room 164, 2010) before returning to Gianfranco’s homeland for an on the road conversation with the Italian writer and architect Renato Nicolini (Tanti Futuri Possibili, 2012) and an investigation of Rome’s (in)famous outskirts and the stories of those who live there (Sacro GRA, 2013).

The season concludes with a dramatic reflection on issues of migration, as explored from the perspective of Lampedusa island’s local community in the Oscar-nominated Fire at Sea (2016). (Notes by Nico Marzano).

Gianfranco Rosi was born in 1964 in Asmara (then in Ethiopia, now in Eritrea). He moved to New York in 1985, where he later graduated from the New York University Film School. Following a trip to India, he produced and directed his first medium-length film, Boatman (1993), which was presented at several international festivals. In 2008, he won the Prix Horizons and Doc/it for his first feature film, Below Sea Level at the Venice Film Festival, and the Golden Lion in 2013 for Sacro GRA, the first feature documentary to receive the honour. In 2016, Rosi went on to win the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival and was nominated both at the Oscars 2017 and the César 2017 for his documentary Fire At Sea.

Trajal Harrell: Hoochie Koochie - A performance exhibition - Barbican Gallery

Exhibition preview

THIS summer, the Barbican Art Gallery is presenting the first ever performance exhibition of the New York-based choreographer and dancer Trajal Harrell.

Following a two year residency at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2014 – 2016), this ambitious project stages over 14 of Harrell’s performances including one of the earliest works he created in 1999, right through to now in a changing, daily programme of live performances.

The Art Gallery will be transformed into a space where performances, featuring a selection of different dancers, some including Harrell himself, are scheduled to activate at certain points with film projections elsewhere. Visitors can explore the immersive space, choosing their own route between performances and stage installations.

The selection of works for the exhibition reflect Harrell’s experiments with dance and exploration of diverse dance forms from Japanese butoh dancing to hoochie koochie, postmodern and modern dance, Classical Greek dancing, erotic dancing, voguing and entertainment, alongside his signature use of fashion runway movement, to create performances that are an exquisite blend of fact and fiction.

Rather than historical re-enactments, Harrell rethinks how we process and interpret our pasts by creating dialogues between ideas and movements from across the globe spanning many cultures and centuries. He imagines how historical scenarios could have happened differently and in doing so is able to explore ideas around emotion, the body, gender, femininity and culture.

Harrell’s best known for the series, Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at The Judson Church (2009 – 2013) which created a lively dialogue between postmodern dance and New York’s voguing scene by posing the question: what would have happened in 1963 if someone from the voguing ballroom scene in Harlem had come downtown to Greenwich Village to perform alongside the early postmoderns at Judson Church?

Included in the exhibition is Harrell’s earliest work, It is Thus from a Strange New Perspective That We Look Back on the Modernist Origins and Watching It Splintering into Endless Replication (1999) which was his first exploration of the fashion runway and voguing, and set the foundation for future performances such as Twenty Looks …

Trajal Harrell said: “One of the really exciting aspects of a performance exhibition of this scope is that the work born in the past comes alive in the future. Performance is, in fact, only of the now. So in this incredible context of Barbican Art Gallery, this is, truly, something only of this moment.“

At the heart of the exhibition is Harrell’s most recent piece entitled, Caen Amour (2016) which draws inspiration from ‘hoochie koochie’ shows. These exotic and seductive belly dance-like spectacles originated in the late 19th century and evolved to become part of travelling fairs across America. Harrell’s father would visit the shows in rural Georgia, U.S. throughout the 70s and 80s and the artist draws on this later form of the dance.

Crossing cultural, geographic and chronological boundaries, Harrell creates a fictional encounter between the pioneer of early modern dance, Loie Fuller, founder of butoh, Tatsumi Hijikata and the Comme des Garçons founder, Rei Kawakubo.

The performance takes place in an installation which initially has a clearly delineated front and backstage area. Gradually the boundaries between public and private, dancer and viewer become blurred as visitors are encouraged to walk around the installation. During the hour-long performance, colourful clothing is held up to dancers’ sometimes naked bodies and their shapes manipulated as they transform into Harrell’s contemporary reimagining of the hoochie koochie show.

Music plays an important role in Harrell’s work, evident during this performance, and he is inspired by a range of musical genres from classical to pop and contemporary.

The body is a recurring theme in Harrell’s work. Bathing Suit, an extract from The Quartet of the End of Time (2008), explores the idea of nudity and the nude in performance and was Harrell’s first experiment with hoochie koochie dancing. These exotic dances were seen as the precursors to vaudeville and striptease.

In this survey of work, Harrell will present Untitled Still Life Collection (2011) which was commissioned by ICA Boston with visual artist, Sarah Sze. Sze strips her material practice to a thin line of blue string and with this, Harrell generates movement. Sculptural and choreographic elements interact and transform one another, generating a performance of playful tension.

Elsewhere in the exhibition, The Return of La Argentina (2015), originally commissioned by MoMA and a solo performance by Harrell, presents butoh dancing through the theoretical lens of voguing. Drawing upon memory and invention, The Return of La Argentina invites the audience into a fictional archiving of Japanese butoh co-founder Kazuo Ohno’s renowned solo, Admiring La Argentina (1977), directed by the other co-founder of butoh, Tatsumi Hijikata and dedicated to the famed Spanish dancer, Antonia Mercé.

Harrell came to Ohno’s solo through his archival research on Hijikata, whose life and work was the subject of his two-year residency at MoMA. Throughout the performance, Harrell taps into butoh’s obsessive returning, moving back and forth in time and between life and death.

In the Mood for Frankie (2016) also created during his two-year residency at MoMA, looks in particular at the figure of the muse. Harrell draws upon a diverse set of inspirations, ranging from Hijikata’s muse Yoko Ashikawa, modern dancer-choreographer Katherine Dunham, filmmaker Wong Kar Wai, fashion designer Rei Kawakubo, singer Sade, dancers Thibault Lac and Ondrej Vidlar who work very closely with Harrell, and dancer and choreographer Kazuo Ohno to create a performance that according to Harrell ‘spills out like a park of muses settled and unsettled between history and the imagination.’

Three dancers perform within an installation of low square platforms, a small fish pond and rugs, interspersed with piano stools and low seating designed to encourage an intimate environment. As in Caen Amour, clothing is often passed amongst the performers or pressed up against the body.

Born in 1973 in Georgia, USA, Harrell lives and works between New York and Athens.

Performing in Trajal Harrell: Hoochie Koochie are an ensemble of dancers, including Titilayo Adebayo, Jonathon Luke Baker, Camille Durif Bonis, Antonio Branco, Jia-Yu Corti, Rob Fordeyn, Thibault Lac, Christopher Matthews, Perle Palombe, Davon Rainey, Owen Ridley-Demonick, Carlos Maria Romero, Jayson Patterson, Alma Toaspen, Songhay Ismael Toldon, Christina Vassiliou and Ondrej Vidlar.

A list of performances will be made available on the website before the exhibition opens to the public.

Dates: Every Thursday to Sunday: July 20 – 23; July 27 – 30; August 3 – 6; August 10 – 13, 2017.

Ticket info: Ticket includes same day re-entry to the exhibition. Standard: £12.50; Concessions (OAP and unemployed): £10; Students/14-17: £10; Young Barbican: £5 (no booking fee); Under 14s: Free; Art Fund Members: £10; Membership Plus: Unlimited free entry + guest; Membership: Unlimited free entry. To book, visit

Opening hours: Thursday and Friday, 2pm –9pm; Saturday and Sunday, 12noon – 6pm. Gallery is closed from Monday to Wednesday.

NB: Trajal Harrell: Hoochie Koochie includes nudity, as well as some explicit imagery. Parental guidance advised. Under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult. And no filming or photography will be allowed in the gallery.

Barbican Art Gallery, London

Tel: 0845 120 7550


Japanese woodblock printing: a craft of precision - British Museum

The British Museum

Exhibition preview

THE latest Asahi Shimbun Display, Japanese woodblock printing: a craft of precision, can be seen in Room 3 at the British Museum from May 25 to July 16, 2017.

Japanese woodblock printing is a traditional craft still widely practiced today. This Asahi Shimbun Display focuses on the workshops of the master block cutter and master printer to reveal the roots of the craft in Japanese prints of the Edo period (1615-1868).

The display focuses on a print triptych by Utagawa Kunisada (1786 – 1864), which shows how Japanese woodblock prints were traditionally made.

Also on display will be a rare brush drawing that Katsushika Hokusai (1760- 1849) prepared for a print, and a beautiful example of ‘Sudden Shower at Shōno’ from the series Fifty-three Stations along the Tōkaidō Highway by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858).

The Hokusai brush drawing is extremely rare. A print artist’s original preparatory drawing was usually pasted face down on the woodblock and destroyed as the master block cutter cut through it with a chisel to transfer the outlines of the design to the block. Absolute precision was then required to remove excess wood and leave behind only the network of fine raised lines that printed the outlines of the design. For details such as strands of hair and the contours of a face, the master had to cut in a single motion.

Block cutting was a specialist craft, and apprentices started their training at an early age.

Kunisada’s triptych shows a master cutter transferring the lines of a drawing on to a woodblock, while an apprentice clears larger areas of wood from other blocks. Elsewhere we see a master printer taking a break while others prepare sheets of paper for printing. A senior printer is brushing the paper with sizing to strengthen it and control how fast it will absorb the printing ink. Handmade from mulberry fibre, this resilient Japanese paper is able to withstand printing on multiple woodblocks, each adding a different colour.

The colours in Japanese prints come from pigments derived sometimes from plants, such as safflower for red, and sometimes from minerals. Since the late 1820s, Japanese printers have also been using the synthetic pigment Prussian blue, first imported from Europe. Master printers combined a few basic pigments and inks to create a range of colours according to the artist’s design, and they were skilled with special effects.

For example, through shading or gradation, a printer could convey a sense of spatial depth and suggest weather conditions, such as rain or mist. To produce this effect, the printer wets the block, applies ink, and then partially wipes the block before printing. No two examples of gradation are exactly the same. The road in Hiroshige’s print ‘Sudden Shower at Shōno’ is an exquisite example of skilful shading.

The display also includes authentic Japanese woodblock carving tools, printing tools and a carved woodblock generously loaned by Takahashi Yukiko and the craftspeople of the Tokyo Traditional Woodblock Print Association for inclusion in the Asahi Shimbun Display.

This display encourages a deeper appreciation for the craft behind all Japanese woodblock prints, but especially Katsushika Hokusai’s iconic ‘Great Wave’ of c. 1831, which is featured in the major temporary exhibition, Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave (May 25 to August 13, 2017), supported by Mitsubishi Corporation.

Admission: Free.

Times: Saturday to Thursday from 10am to 5.30pm; Fridays from 10am to 8.30pm.

Related public programme

Live woodblock printing by Takahashi Atelier – on Friday, June 2 from 4pm to 5.30pm, Great Court. Free, just drop in

A live woodblock printing demonstration at the Museum, conducted by Takahashi Yukiko and Sōda Noriyasu.

Creating woodblock prints: a view from the ‘floating world’ – on Tuesday, June 27 at 1.15pm, Room 3. Free, just drop in.

Gallery talk by Alfred Haft, British Museum

The miracle of traditional Japanese woodblock printmaking – on Wednesday, July 12 at 1.15pm, Room 3. Free, just drop in.

Gallery talk by Tim Clark, British Museum.

Also at the British Museum: The American Dream: pop to the present, the UK’s first major exhibition to chart modern and contemporary American printmaking (until June 18, 2017).

British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG


Artists revealed for the Royal Academy of Arts' Summer Exhibition 2017

Exhibition preview

AS PREVIOUSLY announced the Royal Academician, Eileen Cooper, is the co-ordinator of the 249th Summer Exhibition.

Given her long and distinguished teaching career, Cooper will bring her experience and knowledge of diverse practices to the Summer Exhibition 2017. She will extend the reach of the exhibition to include more works from artists across the world as well as artists working in differing media, exploring and celebrating the new energy of the next generation.

To support this vision, Eileen Cooper and the Summer Exhibition Hanging Committee have invited international artists to exhibit in a range of media throughout the galleries. These include Julie Born Schwartz, Hassan Hajjaj, Secundino Hernández, Isaac Julian, Tomoaki Suzuki and Mark Wallinger. For the first time, the Summer Exhibition will also include an element of performance art.

Further highlights of the Summer Exhibition 2017 will include Yinka Shonibare RA’s Wind Sculpture VI in the Royal Academy’s Annenberg Courtyard. At over six metres in height, this impressive sculpture explores the notion of harnessing motion and freezing it in a moment of time. Returning to the artist’s use of Dutch wax textiles, Wind Sculpture VI will manifest as a large three-dimensional piece of fabric that appears to be blowing in reaction to the natural elements.

Farshid Moussavi RA will be curating the Architecture Gallery within the Summer Exhibition. For the first time, this gallery will celebrate architecture by focusing on construction coordination drawings – the drawings which show the full complexity of a building. This gallery will feature works by Royal Academicians including the newly elected David Adjaye and Richard Rogers, together with Grafton Architects, Bjarke Ingels, Alvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura, amongst others.

Other Royal Academicians featuring this year will include Gilbert & George, who will be showing a new large-scale work from their ‘Beard Speak’ series, along with Phyllida Barlow, Antony Gormley, Sean Scully, Bob and Roberta Smith and Wolfgang Tillmans. Honorary Academicians include Marina Abramović, Jim Dine and Mimmo Paladino.

The Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open submission exhibition. Around 1200 works will go on display, the majority of which will be for sale offering visitors an opportunity to purchase original artwork by high profile and up-and-coming artists. It has been held every year without interruption since 1769 and continues to play a significant part in raising funds to finance the current students of the RA Schools.

Selected works from the Summer Exhibition 2017 will be available to purchase online through the Summer Exhibition Explorer. Works will be available for sale online from June 13, 2017.

Dates: Tuesday, June 13 to Sunday, August 20, 2017.

Tickets (price includes the List of Works giving details on every exhibit in the show): Adults £15.50 (£14 excluding Gift Aid donation); concessions available; under 16s go free. Friends of the RA go free. Tickets are available daily at the RA or by visiting

Times: Daily from 10am – 6pm (last admission 5.30pm). Late night opening: Fridays until 10pm (last admission 9.30pm).

Image: Summer Exhibition 2016 installtion view © David Parry.

Anthony Green RA: The Life and Death of Miss Dupont now continues at the Royal Academy of Arts until June 25, 2017.

The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains - Victoria & Albert Museum

Exhibition preview

FROM MAY 13 to October 1, 2017, the Victoria and Albert Museum is hosting the first major international retrospective of Pink Floyd, one of the world’s most pioneering and influential bands.

To mark 50 years since the band released their first single Arnold Layne, and over 200 million record sales later, The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains will be an immersive, multi-sensory and theatrical journey through Pink Floyd’s extraordinary world.

A story of sound, design and performance, the exhibition will chronicle the music, iconic visuals and staging of the band, from the underground psychedelic scene in 1960s London to the present day, illustrating their groundbreaking use of special effects, sonic experimentation, powerful imagery and social commentary.

The exhibition marks the first collaboration in decades of Pink Floyd’s remaining members and is promoted by Michael Cohl and Iconic Entertainment Studios.

The exhibition will celebrate Pink Floyd’s place in history as the cultural landscape changed throughout the 1960s and beyond. Pink Floyd occupied a distinctive experimental space and were the foremost exponents of a psychedelic movement that changed the understanding of music forever. They became one of the most important groups in contemporary music.

Pink Floyd have produced some of the most iconic imagery in popular culture: from pigs flying over Battersea Power Station, The Dark Side of the Moon prism, cows, marching hammers to giant inflatable teachers; their vision brought to life by creative individuals such as modern surrealist and long-time collaborator Storm Thorgerson, satirical illustrator Gerald Scarfe and psychedelic lighting pioneer Peter Wynne-Wilson.

The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains, with sonic experience by Sennheiser, will celebrate the band’s era-defining work in composition, staging, design, film, music technology, graphic design and photography. It will feature more than 350 objects and artefacts including never-before-seen material, presented alongside works from the V&A’s outstanding collections of art, design, architecture and performance.

Highlights will include spectacular set and construction pieces from some of Pink Floyd’s most innovative and legendary album covers and stage performances including The Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall and The Division Bell, instruments, music technology, original designs, architectural drawings, handwritten lyrics and psychedelic prints and posters.

At the exhibition, visitors will have the unique opportunity to experience never-before-seen classic Pink Floyd concert footage and a custom-designed laser light show.

The exhibition is curated by the V&A by a team led by Victoria Broackes alongside Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell of Hipgnosis, the Creative Director of Pink Floyd, and Paula Stainton. The curatorial team have worked closely with members of the group on the content of the exhibition, which is being designed by Stufish, the world leading entertainment architects and longtime stage designers for Pink Floyd.

Admission: £20 (Monday – Friday), £24 (Saturday – Sunday), concessions available. V&A Members go free. Advance booking strongly advised.

Tickets available in person at the V&A; online at or by calling 0800 912 6961 (booking fee applies); or from ticketing partners LOVETheatre, Ticketmaster, See Tickets and Encore.

Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL

Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga: Tushauriane - Let's Talk About It

Exhibition preview

AN EXHIBITION entitled Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga: Tushauriane – Let’s Talk About It will be on display at October Gallery from May 18 to July 29, 2017.

Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga, born in Kenya in 1960, makes sculptural works primarily out of oxidised sheet metal and wire, materials that celebrate Jua Kali, a Swahili adage that translates as ‘under the hot sun’ and which is an aesthetic proposition based on the beauty of organic degradation.

The artist uses the weather itself to stain her materials, leaving them exposed to the natural cycle of wind, sun and rain before assembling them into the three-dimensional dialogues that are her final works.

Her process is inspired by the pioneering work of the Mabati Women’s Group, in Kenya in the 1960s, which used the same sheet metal to transform the roofs of buildings. By using this material, the women were able to inhabit homes with roofs that could successfully collect water, thus saving them time and empowering the women in the process.

Gakunga draws on their work in her own practice, weaving together a diversity of materials to visually and physically articulate the concept of dialogue.

Gallery Talk: Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga will talk about her new work and creative process on Saturday, May 20 at 3pm at October Gallery. Entry Free. Reserve a place on Eventbrite.

Image: Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga, Bridges Not Walls, 2015. Sheet metal, steel wire and poultry wire, 264 × 229 × 10 cm.

October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1N 3AL

Tel: + 44 (0)20 7242 7367