Last week, the Enter Gallery team took our annual trip to London to attend the Royal Academy’s prestigious Summer Exhibition.
Dating back to 1769, the exhibition is the world’s oldest open submission show, and features works from a fantastic mixture of big name artists, alongside those who are just emerging onto the scene.
In today’s blog, we’re revealing a little more about what you can expect from the exhibition and highlighting some of the key pieces you should keep your eyes out for, including some works by Enter Gallery artists.
Each year the Summer Exhibition is coordinated by a different Royal Academician. This year it is the turn of esteemed British painter, David Remfry RA – an artist known for figurative watercolour works.
2023’s applicants were invited to interpret the theme ‘Only Connect’ in their entries, which is taken from a famous quote featured in Howard’s End by E.M Forster.
Let’s take a look at some of the artists whose work features in the show. Michael Craig-Martin has a number of pieces featured ahead of his upcoming 2024 exhibition at the Royal Academy, including the below piece, Interior (with Daybed).
Attendees will also spot a couple of works from his 2022 show, Past Present, in which he paid homage to his favourite artists, recreating their classic paintings in his own distinctive style. At the Summer Exhibition, you can view his interpretations of pieces by Caravaggio and Leonardo Da Vinci.
Tracey Emin has three pieces included in the show, all displayed together in Gallery III, and pictured below. The three pieces, From the Mountain to the Lake (top), I Found the Mirror of Love (bottom left) and Tea Cup – Pancake and You (bottom right), are all striking examples of the YBA’s intimate painted works depicting figures in bed
Paul Huxley’s Banner Series is another highlight of the show. The series is a fantastic showcase of his artistic stylings, employing blocks of colour and linear patterns to create his signature dynamic illusions.
Another Young British Artist (YBA) whose work makes an appearance is Gary Hume. His piece, Bonnet, is – as always – created with high gloss paint. In this instance, he has painted onto aluminium, creating a piece infused with a sense of both beauty and melancholy.
Nathalie Kingdon is another Enter Gallery artist whose work is featured in the exhibition. Here’s a lovely shot of One-Piece, hanging in situ. It is a wonderful example of her oeuvre, which is characterised by artworks rich in colour, that emanate the warmth of long summer days.
Enter Gallery Favourites
It seems like competition was particularly hot this year. A couple of our artists submitted fantastic pieces that sadly didn’t make the cut, but they are far too good not to shout about. Here are a couple of our favourites that we think the world needs to see, and which you can snap up at Enter Gallery now.
Haus of Lucy submitted this sculpture and print to the exhibition about the life-changing magic of connecting with a friend over a cuppa and a chat. The piece, which depicts a prescription for three to four cups of tea a day, is a comment on the loneliness epidemic, and how we need to find ways to connect in our increasingly disconnected world.
These Cup of Tea sculptures are featuring in Ghost Town, Haus of Lucy’s solo show at Enter Gallery on Friday June 30th, from 6-8pm. In the show, Lucy explores the impact of the death of the high street on our sense of connection and community, and asks, without a central place to meet and mingle, what will become of us?
Jana Nicole brought her botanical prints alive in The Glasshouse Dome, an original collaged sculpture presented in a glass dome. The work celebrates the beauty and connection between the mushrooms, moss and mycelium that make up our forest floors, and which provide a home and nutrients to vital flora and fauna.
The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition is on until August 20th – Get your tickets here.