Until 20 August 2017
Everything you’ll see at the Summer Exhibition represents the art being made today. Expect to find a panorama of art in all media, from painting, printmaking, film and photography to sculpture, architectural works and performance art.
Explore and buy from the Summer Exhibition online
With over 1,000 works in the show, the Summer Exhibition can be overwhelming. Our Summer Exhibition Explorer gives you the chance to see every work in the show online. Browse through the galleries, share your favourites or enjoy one of our handpicked selections. You can also purchase many of the print editions featured in the Summer Exhibition online.
RA Schools Show 2017
22 June — 2 July 2017
Beneath our galleries, 17 artists are transforming their studio spaces to present new work as they complete three years of postgraduate study at the Royal Academy Schools.
Take a look inside the Summer Exhibition
Here's a dash around this year's Summer Exhibition, coordinated by Eileen Cooper RA.
The Interpretation of Movement (a 9:8 in blue)
Terrace Wires: Conrad Shawcross RA
See sculptor and Royal Academician Conrad Shawcross's new public installation – his largest mechanical work to date – in St Pancras International station.
Francis Kéré on his Serpentine Pavilion: “I dream of work in the UK. It’s the place to build”
Three years after his tunnel of straws inspired audiences in the RA's Sensing Spaces show, architect Diébédo Francis Kéré is back in the UK as the designer of this year’s Serpentine Pavilion. We caught up to hear about his new creation.
Futures Found: The Real and Imagined Cityscapes of Post-war Britain
18 February — 25 June 2017
This free exhibition explores the contrasts between the ambitions for Britain’s new post-war cityscapes and the varied futures that were subsequently created.
“Brutalism is back – but its fetishisation comes at a cost”
by Catherine Slessor
Post-war concrete architecture is finding its way into magazines, blogs and Instagram feeds – but its commodified comeback is completely at odds with Brutalism’s social agenda, argues architectural critic Catherine Slessor.
Eileen Cooper: “Artists love to say they’re unique. We’re not”
With the job of coordinating the Summer Exhibition, her final months as the Keeper of the Royal Academy Schools and two of her own solo shows this year, it’s a busy time for Eileen Cooper. In the latest in our ‘As I see it’ series, the artist talks bad reviews, good dogs, and what she’ll do once all this work is done.
Anthony Green RA: The Life and Death of Miss Dupont
18 January – 25 June 2017
Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Anthony Green’s election as a Royal Academician, this show focuses on a recently-completed work, shown for the very first time. Three metres tall and entitled 'The Fur Coat, “Hazana”', it tells the story of his mother’s second marriage, seen through the eyes of her 13-year-old only child.
Nine things to know about the Summer Exhibition
An invitation to artists everywhere, a story that goes back to Turner – and a top secret tea recipe. Here’s what you need to know about a weird and wonderful art tradition.
Make a paint-splattering spinning top
Learn how to make a spinning top that will spin and spin, splattering paint to create multiple masterpieces!
Exploring watercolour with Christopher Le Brun PRA
Think you know watercolour? Think again. Join the President of the Royal Academy in his London studio as he debunks some of the myths about this versatile medium and its possibilities.
Seven tips for starting your own art collection
There are over 1000 works in the Summer Exhibition – and most of them are for sale. So how do you choose? Here are our top tips for buying your first pieces of original art.
10 shows to see in June
From Tate Modern's retrospective of the Turkish painter Fahrelnissa Zeidfirst to a show marking the 60th anniversary of the death of Wyndham Lewis, here are the exhibitions we recommend this month.
RA and Pin Drop Short Story Award with Dame Penelope Wilton
Friday 23 June 2017
Join us for a special evening with critically-acclaimed British actress, Dame Penelope Wilton, who will announce and narrate this year’s winning story of the RA and Pin Drop Short Story Award.
See performance art in the Summer Exhibition
On selected Friday evenings, the Summer Exhibition galleries become a stage for innovative performance pieces. Catch India Mackie and Declan Jenkins searching for the perfect romantic spot while suspended in steel frames in 'Cantilever Kiss', as well as intimate spoken word storytelling from artist Alana Francis. Or, visit mid-morning and see a performance by Brian Catling RA.
The studios behind the Summer Exhibition
How are the capital’s artists using their working spaces today? In the spirit of this year’s Summer Exhibition, which is encouraging artists who have not shown before at the RA, Skye Sherwin visits first-time exhibitors at work to see what they are bringing to the Academy.
Provocations in Art: collecting performance
Friday 7 July 2017
Artist Brian Catling RA joins Tate Senior Curator Catherine Wood and Dr Jen Harvie to explore the evolution of performance art in museums and its entrance into the contemporary art market.
A-level Summer Exhibition online
Selected from over 2,400 submissions, the A-level Summer Exhibition Online is a showcase of the UK’s young artistic talent. This year aspiring artists attending sixth form colleges or schools submitted their work to be judged by our expert panel: Royal Academician Wolfgang Tillmans, curator Per Rumberg, and RA Schools student Jessy Jetpacks. View the works online here.
Friends summer party
Saturday 24 June 2017
Come and celebrate the season with us at our annual Friends summer party. Held in our Main Galleries, it’s the perfect chance to meet like minds, mingle and explore this year's Summer Exhibition.
X-ray talks: architecture at the Summer Exhibition
On three mornings this summer, join renowned architects exhibiting in the Summer Exhibition to explore the themes and ideas in their practice. Discuss the challenges and complexity of building design today wth Chris Wilkinson RA, Farshid Moussavi RA, and Andrew Whalley, Deputy Chairman at Grimshaw Architects.
"Deeds not words": Suffragettes and the Summer Exhibition
Over 100 years since suffragette Mary Wood’s attack on Sargent’s portrait of Henry James, we delve into the RA’s archive to find out how the Academy, and the public, reacted.
Matisse in the Studio
5 August – 12 November 2017
This summer, step into the studio of Henri Matisse. Focusing exclusively on the role of the artist’s treasured objects in his work, this exhibition reveals how this eclectic collection took on new life in his transcendent art.
How to read it: Henry Tuke’s A Bathing Group
As Tate Britain’s ‘Queer British Art’ marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality, we take a look at the work of Henry Tuke from the RA collection, on display in the show.
Dalí / Duchamp
7 October 2017 — 3 January 2018
Take another look at two artistic giants: father of conceptual art Marcel Duchamp, and larger-than-life Surrealist Salvador Dalí. This is the first exhibition to throw light on their surprising relationship and its influence on the work of both artists.
Charles I: King and Collector
27 January — 15 April 2018
Discover the legendary art collection of Charles I. For the first time since the 17th century, a landmark exhibition at the RA will bring together the astounding treasures that changed the taste of the nation.
10 to see at the Venice Biennale
Phyllida Barlow RA’s bulbous sculptures, Robert Cuoghi’s messiah machines and Damien Hirst’s demons – here are ten highlights of this year’s contemporary art spectacular.
Art Sales: Only Connect
The RA is proud to present the latest exhibition from the Royal Academy’s Art Sales programme; ‘Only Connect’, curated by Professor David Remfry RA. This diverse selection of work, by Royal Academicians and invited artists, explores the relationship between the artist and the drawn line, celebrating connections between seemingly disparate works that resonate with one another in various ways.
Make Your Mark on the RA
As our 250th anniversary approaches, we've launched Make Your Mark – a public appeal to ensure the next 250 years of the RA. Friends, visitors and supporters are invited to physically make their mark on the Academy, from adopting a masterpiece in our Collection to naming a seat in our new lecture theatre.
RA250 stories: hidden treasures of the RA Collection
In 2018 we're unveiling new spaces to display the Royal Academy's Collection. In this video, we take a look at some of the treasures that will be on show, including the UK's only sculpture by Michelangelo.
RA Editions: Ed Ruscha, 'Thinks I, to Myself'
We're proud to offer a new limited edition print by internationally renowned Honorary Academician, Ed Ruscha. Often associated with the Pop Art movement, his work is as much a commentary on contemporary life in America as a wider take on man’s place within ever-changing worlds and societies.
Catch up: Gilbert & George in conversation
Gilbert & George discuss their art and vision with the RA’s Artistic Director Tim Marlow.
How to read it: Michelangelo’s Taddei Tondo
Currently on display at the National Gallery, the Virgin and Child with the Infant St John, known as the Taddei Tondo, is the only marble sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti in a UK collection. It will return to the RA to be displayed in our new collections displays for our 250th anniversary in 2018.
Art Sales: Fred Cuming RA
The artist's exploration of dramatic light and shadow around the southern English coastlines continues in a number of new paintings. All works are for sale.
How to read it: Anthony Green’s 'The Fur Coat'
The story behind a slightly unusual work by Royal Academician Anthony Green, only recently completed and currently on show in the RA’s Tennant Gallery.
David Hockney RA's SUMO: A Bigger Book
A "definitive visual autobiography" of David Hockney RA, spanning over six decades and 600 pages. Major paintings are accompanied by the artist’s drawings, photo-composites, multi-perspective collages, stage designs, multi-camera video works, and iPad drawings.
The exhibition is the thing that excites me – it’s the moment that the work really comes alive.
The act of drawing is at the heart of everything I do. It is the most intimate of processes and at its best reveals both the hand and mind of the artist to the viewer.
Rebecca Salter RA
Visit the RA shop
Browse our range of artistic products designed and inspired by Royal Academicians, from Grayson Perry and Yinka Shonibare to David Hockney and Zaha Hadid.
Very rarely as an artist do you get that real ecstasy of painting – you are always chasing it.
Chantal Joffe RA
Eddie Peake: "I don't know what my sexuality is"
As I see it
With a new show at White Cube Hong Kong, RA Schools alumnus Eddie Peake talks football, finding himself and “ferocious attention seeking.”
Keep looking at your own work. Keep looking at the world, trying to reconcile the two things. Cherish your fellow travellers. Don’t give up.
Odd couples: Artists you never knew were friends
With our exhibition exploring the little-known relationship between Dalí and Duchamp later this year, we take a look at the friendship between those two great masters of modern art, and five other artist pairs you may never have guessed.
The Royal Academy is undergoing a transformative redevelopment in the build-up to 2018, when we will celebrate our 250th anniversary. Each month, we'll share with you a behind-the-scenes look as the project progresses.
There is only one rule for aspiring artists. That is, only become one if you have absolutely no choice, if your drive is so strong that nothing else could be contemplated. If you think in terms of worldly success, forget it. The rewards are in the doing and in the breadth of art.
Tess Jaray RA
How to… make a wood engraving, with Anne Desmet
Anne Desmet RA demonstrates each step in creating a wood engraving, from tracing the original drawing through to printing a first proof.
Mayfair & St James's interactive gallery map
Produced by the Royal Academy of Arts in collaboration with GalleriesNow.net, this interactive map highlights the 145 art locations in this historic quarter of London, including 139 commercial galleries, four auction houses and the RA itself.
The moment just before a work is finished, it’s finished. You want a bit of nervous twitching, a bit of tension, in the sculpture.
Richard Wilson RA
Inside the Academy
Tumblr: From the RA
Discover works from the RA's Collections
We've reached the half-way point on our quest to digitise 10,000 items from the Royal Academy of Arts' vast collections. Visit our Tumblr to discover drawings, sketches, prints, books, oddities and wonders, all revealed by RA staff and a team of volunteers.
Listen to RA podcasts
From short stories read by leading novelists to artists and experts in conversation, catch up on events at the RA with our podcasts.
Architecture is a public art, and is never really finished. When a building is completed it’s the beginning of its life – a life which really only starts when people inhabit and breathe life into it. Buildings change, evolve and grow.
Alan Stanton RA
Explore our Collection
The Royal Academy Collections include paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, historic books, (i.e. published before 1921), archives, historic photographs and plaster casts.
Become a Friend of the RA
Free RA Tours
Discover the art, architecture and history of the RA in these special, one-hour tours that include the historic John Madejski Fine Rooms.
Learn from experts and artists
Our new programme of short courses and classes offers the opportunity to explore subjects ranging from life drawing to the history of portraiture, led by expert tutors and practising artists.
Inside the Academy
Redeveloping the Royal Academy
For nearly 250 years, the RA has been a place to make, exhibit and debate art. For our anniversary in 2018 we are opening up the RA as never before, transforming our historic buildings – and inviting Friends and visitors old and new to celebrate with us.
Inside the Academy
The RA Schools
A school of contemporary fine art, right at the heart of the RA.
Looking for an art-lover’s gift?
Order bespoke art prints, canvases and framed reproductions from our Collection online.
Join the club
The Academicians’ Room in the Keeper’s House began life in 1883, becoming the favourite haunt of the Academy’s artists as a private members club. The room has entered a new phase in its rich history, and has reopened with a fresh new look by the renowned Martin Brudnizki Design Studio. Members can expect artworks by Royal Academicians on display, an exceptional food menu and an exciting programme of events, including an artist-led Salon Series.
Friends of the RA
RA Art Tours Worldwide
These expert-led small-group tours, created by travel specialists Cox & Kings, focus on the art, architecture and archaeology of some of the world’s most fascinating destinations.