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.
10 shows to see in July
From the colourful abstract paintings of the late Howard Hodgkin to a group show exploring Surrealism’s influence on female artists, here are some of the exhibitions not to miss this July.
Second Nature: The Art of Charles Tunnicliffe RA
Until 8 October 2017
See the natural world through the eyes of Charles Tunnicliffe RA, one of the best-known wildlife illustrators of the 20th century. To coincide with a newly published catalogue of his prints, we bring together a range of Tunnicliffe’s work, from original illustrations for Ladybird Books to etchings, wood-engravings and watercolours.
David Hockney: “I’ve never been mainstream. Just be yourself”
To celebrate David Hockney’s 80th birthday, filmmaker Bruno Wollheim has released 80 previously unseen short films made with the artist. Watch three of them here.
New architecture space and prizes announced for 2018
The future of architecture at the Royal Academy is set to be transformed through a dedicated architecture space, the launch of a pair of international awards and an annual architecture exhibition.
"Architecture impacts everyone. The conversation must be open to everyone"
That’s why the RA pledged to champion architecture 250 years ago, and why we’re renewing that commitment now, says Head of Architecture Kate Goodwin.
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.
Conrad Shawcross: "I used to work as an extra in films"
In the latest in our 'As I see it' series, sculptor Conrad Shawcross tells us why Brexit might change the meaning of his new St. Pancras installation, what it means to be the youngest Academician – and why artists should never work in pubs.
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.
RA Summer Lates: The Other Paradise
Come and experience art, music, cocktails, mermaid life-drawing, performance art, tropical funk DJs, craft activities and more at the RA’s huge end-of-summer party at our 17th-century mansion on Piccadilly. The RA becomes your playground for the night at this boutique arts festival, inspired by paradise.
Jasper Johns: 'Something Resembling Truth'
23 September — 10 December 2017
Widely known for his iconic images of flags, targets, numbers, maps and light bulbs, Jasper Johns has occupied a central position in American art since his first solo exhibition in New York in 1958. The first comprehensive survey of the artist’s work to be held in the UK in 40 years, this exhibition will comprise over 150 paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints.
RA250 stories: building a bridge that’s a sculpture
Behind the scenes
In 2018, our two historic sites at Burlington House and Burlington Gardens will be linked together for the first time. In this video, we look at the complex process of connecting two listed buildings, with a sculptural bridge that traces the line of an original garden path from 350 years ago.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.