Intrigue: James Ensor by Luc Tuymans
Until 29 January 2017
The theatrical, the satirical and the macabre come together in arresting fashion in the art of James Ensor. Curated by Luc Tuymans, this exhibition presents a truly original body of work, seen through the eyes of one of today’s leading painters.
Last chance to see
Origins: a project by Ordinary Architecture
15 October 2016 — 15 January 2017
The RA has commissioned Ordinary Architecture to create a series of interventions around Burlington House that offer an intriguing contemporary counterpoint to the "origin myths" of architecture.
Revolution: Russian Art 1917–1932
11 February – 17 April 2017
One hundred years on from the Russian Revolution, this powerful exhibition explores one of the most momentous periods in modern world history through the lens of its groundbreaking art.
America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s
25 February — 4 June 2017
The art of 1930s America tells the story of a nation in flux. Artists responded to rapid social change and economic anxiety with some of the 20th century’s most powerful art – brought together now in this once-in-a-generation show.
Celebrating 40 years of Friends!
What does the RA mean to you? On the 40th anniversary of our membership scheme, we asked four decades of Friends about the RA past, present and future. Celebrate this milestone with us at our special programme of events this January.
What’s coming up in 2017 at the Royal Academy of Arts
The RA’s Artistic Director introduces our 2017 exhibition programme, which explores some of the most momentous developments in 20th-century art.
How to read it: Constable's Flatford Mill study
We offer a quick guide to this oil sketch by John Constable RA, painted quickly to develop ideas before the final work. Constable's oils will be on view to Friends of the RA this month in a special tour of our collections store as part of the Friends's 40th anniversary celebrations.
Premiums: Interim Projects 2017
27 January — 5 February 2017
At the midpoint of their studies at the RA Schools, artists exhibit their work in this annual exhibition: an opportunity to see up-to-the-minute work by emerging artists at a time when their practice is still developing.
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.
Dreams, demons and seismic doodling: Timothy Hyman RA on James Ensor
In this extract from his new book, Timothy Hyman explores how the visionary Belgian painter remade figurative painting in his own macabre manner.
Five art shows to see this week: Whitechapel Gallery, New Art Exchange, and more
13 – 19 January
From fearless female characters to propaganda posters against the Franco regime, we guide you through the best art to see this week.
The tidemarks of Florence’s great flood
Fifty years since Florence was hit by the floods that destroyed not only lives but invaluable art treasures, Claudia Pritchard reports on the legacy.
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.”
Odd couples: Artists you never knew were friends
As we announce a show on the little-known relationship between two of modern art’s greatest masters, we take a look at the friendship between Dali and Duchamp, and five other artist pairs you would never have guessed.
"I'm a creampuff gone rotten": James Ensor on art and life
An anti-establishment artist with plenty to say, James Ensor’s scribblings are just as eccentric as his paintings. Here’s a selection of his inner musings – on art, critics and his naughty pug.
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.
Inside the show: James Ensor by Luc Tuymans
Take a look at some of the key works in ‘Intrigue: James Ensor by Luc Tuymans’ in four short videos.
How to make a drawing robot
Inspired by the Abstract Expressionist work of David Smith, this sculpture-inspired step-by-step activity is suitable for ages 5+ with adult supervision... Make it and show us your robot drawings!
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
Abstract Expressionists in 60 seconds
Got a minute? In these short videos, the RA’s Artistic Director introduces five of the key figures of Abstract Expressionism.
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.
Very rarely as an artist do you get that real ecstasy of painting – you are always chasing it.
Chantal Joffe RA
Are utopian ideas good for architecture?
Cast your vote
Can utopian ideals help architects to build better futures? Or are these efforts doomed to be too rigid, over-simplified and suppressive? Ian Ritchie RA and Hugh Pearman go head to head – read both sides then cast your vote.
Art Sales: Surface Cutting
Until 20 February 2017
Eileen Cooper RA presents a diverse collection of works for sale by Royal Academicians including Grayson Perry, Eileen Cooper, Vanessa Jackson and Stephen Chambers alongside a number of invited artists.
Pin Drop - Short Story Award 2017
Showcase your short fiction with the RA & Pin Drop Short Story Award. The award offers a unique platform for emerging and established writers to showcase their work at the Royal Academy of Arts, during a special event where the winning story will be announced and read aloud by a special guest. Submissions for 2017 are now open; entries must be submitted by 6pm, 28 February 2017.
As I see it
Antony Gormley: "We need art more than ever"
In our new series, artists reflect on art, life and lessons learnt. Here, Antony Gormley RA explains how he first found his subject, why the arts are vital in education and why he’s ashamed of Brexit.
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
Which Abstract Expressionist are you?
The movement that dominated New York's art scene in the 1950s came with a pack of interesting characters... Take the quiz to find out if you're a jazzy Jackson Pollock or a mellow Mark Rothko.
James Ensor: A man of many masks
The Belgian artist James Ensor painted life through the lens of the carnival, creating unsettling and often satirical works. Michael Prodger searches for the man behind these intriguing images.
Academicians in Focus
3 November 2016 — 27 March 2017
Olwyn Bowey RA has devoted her career to the study of nature. Dynamic and rigorous, her vibrant and distinctive studies of potted plants and windblown trees are infused with the passion of an artist who works in isolation.
Luc Tuymans: An agent provocateur
Belgium’s leading contemporary painter, who curates the RA’s James Ensor exhibition, tells Sam Phillips why it is time to reassess Ensor’s art.
How to… make a wood engraving, with Anne Desmet
In the first part of our new video series looking at artistic techniques, 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.
How I made it, by Rebecca Salter RA
Rebecca Salter RA talks about the “uncharted territory” of working in film for Picture the Light, her collaboration with the musician Max de Wardener.
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
Brian Catling RA’s imaginary studio
The ebullient, multimedia artist-poet Brian Catling RA is reluctant to identify his studio as a physical space, as Fiona Maddocks discovered when she met up with him in Oxford.
I think the world is mad and only if I work can I make some sense of it.
David Hockney RA
‘RA Family Album’ wraps Burlington Gardens
A new artwork by Yinka Shonibare RA wrapping the RA's Burlington Gardens building brings together over 160 images that span the Royal Academy’s 248-year history. The juxtaposition of images reveals the rich tapestry of activity which takes place behind these walls.
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.