Summer Exhibition 2016
13 June — 21 August
Now in its 248th year, the Summer Exhibition presents new and recent art created by everyone from emerging artists to the biggest names in contemporary art and architecture. This year’s co-ordinator is Richard Wilson RA, who will be exploring the theme of artistic duos.
Browse and buy from the Summer Exhibition
With over 1,200 works in the Summer Exhibition, there’s a lot to see. Browse all the works featured in the show online. This year, for the first time, you can also purchase many of the print editions featured in the Summer Exhibition online.
Bill Jacklin RA: The Graphic Work 1961 – 2016
3 June — 28 August 2016
In the first ever retrospective of Bill Jacklin RA’s graphic work, etchings from the 1960s are shown alongside newly created monotypes.
RA Schools Show 2016
23 June — 3 July 2016
The RA Schools Show is a highlight of the contemporary art calendar, offering a cutting-edge counterpoint to the Summer Exhibition.
David Hockney RA: 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life
2 July — 2 October 2016
As one of our most anticipated shows of the year, advance booking is essential for both Friends and visitors.
David Hockney returns to the RA with a remarkable new body of work. Embracing portraiture with a renewed creative vigour, he offers an intimate snapshot of the LA art world and the people who have crossed his path over the last two years.
Seeing double: artist duos in the Summer Exhibition
Artist duos are challenging the concept of individual authorship. Now they are celebrated at this year’s Summer Exhibition. From Jane & Louise Wilson to Jake & Dinos Chapman, we talk to four pairs and ask them how they collaborate.
RA Burlington Gardens Festival
2 July 2016
The RA takes to the streets for a vibrant, free arts festival.
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.
‘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.
Our pick of this week’s art events: 24 – 30 June
From surreal sculptures hanging off the gallery wall to ankle boots crafted entirely out of grass, we guide you through the best of this week’s art events and exhibitions.
The poetry of paint
An interview with Etel Adnan
For Etel Adnan, art world success came late – in her eighties. RA Magazine met the writer and painter in Paris ahead of a major show in London.
RA and Pin Drop Short Story Award with Juliet Stevenson
24 June 2016
Join us for a special evening with critically-acclaimed British actress, Juliet Stevenson, who will announce and narrate this year’s winning story of the RA and Pin Drop Short Story Award
Richard Wilson RA in conversation with Tim Marlow
Friday 1 July 2016
Join Richard Wilson, one of Britain’s most renowned sculptors and Coordinator of the RA Summer Exhibition 2016, as he discusses his critically acclaimed work with RA Artistic Director Tim Marlow.
Peter Cook RA: Floating Ideas
8 June — 2 October 2016
Visionary architect and educator Sir Peter Cook RA creates an installation in the Architecture Space that evokes a world of architectural possibilities through over 60 drawings submitted to the Summer Exhibition from the mid-1960s to the present day.
Royal Academicians reflect on the new Tate extension
As Tate puts the finishing touches to its monumental new extension, architect Eric Parry RA considers its aesthetic and cultural impact, while painters Gillian Ayres RA and Timothy Hyman RA preview accompanying retrospective shows of Khakhar and O’Keeffe.
Great expectations: students of the RA Schools prepare for their final show
The stage is set and the pressure is on as third-year students from the RA Schools prepare work for their final show, which opens to the public this summer in the studios of the RA. Jonathan P. Watts goes behind the scenes to meet the artists at this critical point.
Bill Jacklin RA on New York, his home for two decades
No one captures New York quite like Bill Jacklin RA, who moved to the Big Apple in the 1980s and never looked back. Nancy Campbell caught up with him ahead of his show of prints and drawings at the RA.
Courses and classes
From Street Art to Contemporary Art: The evolution of a 21st Century art movement
2 – 3 July 2016
Led by Cedar Lewisohn, internationally renowned curator, writer, artist and expert on street art, this course will introduce the historical origins of street art, focusing both on its evolution and creative approaches, style and mediums, as well as its emergence as a legitimate art movement and its place in the market today.
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
Inside the Academy
Architect Leonard Manasseh on his 100th birthday
As Leonard Manasseh becomes our first centenarian Royal Academician, his cousin, the architectural historian Timothy Brittain-Catlin, takes a look at a career of over 80 years.
Watch these spaces: the future of art schools
As Britain’s art schools experience an era of radical change, what do students stand to gain and lose? Anna Coatman explores the past, present and future of art education.
Courses and classes
Street photography and the art of capturing the crowd
25 – 26 June 2016
Anthony Luvera, a practising photographer and Director of the Photography BA at Coventry University, will lead a practical and theoretical course introducing the dynamic genre of street photography, teaching the skills required to photograph people and capture crowds, in the heart of London.
Academicians in Focus
Ken Howard's Switzerland
28 April – 23 October 2016
Inspired by Turner, Ken Howard RA’s en plein air paintings of Switzerland reveal the landscape in a new light.
In the studio with Ron Arad RA
There is barely a straight line to be found in the north London studios of artist, designer and architect Ron Arad RA. Fiona Maddocks meets the maverick whose life and art is always on the move.
Sex, death and sculpture: Cathie Pilkington’s Top Shelf
The Royal Academician talks about the “Baccahanalian excess” of her sculptural installation Top Shelf, currently on display above the bar in the Academicians’ Room at the RA.
Object of the month: June 2016
Leonard Manasseh RA's Design for Radipole Lake pumping station
As we celebrate Leonard Manasseh RA’s 100th birthday, we take a look at the architect’s design for Radipole Lake pumping station.
Art Sales at the RA
Celebrating the developments within contemporary printmaking practice including etchings, monoprints, lithographs, woodblocks, silkscreens and three-dimensional digital prints, The Edge of Printing is the fourth in a series of exhibitions presenting limited editions and unique works for sale, online and onsite, by Royal Academicians and other significant contemporary artists.
Very rarely as an artist do you get that real ecstasy of painting – you are always chasing it.
Chantal Joffe RA
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.
Artist of the month: June 2016
Bill Jacklin RA
This month sees the opening of the first retrospective of Bill Jacklin RA’s graphic work, tracing his career from his student days at Walthamstow School of Art in the early 1960s to his latest monotypes, created at the beginning of this year.
Thought of Train of Thought: Ron Arad RA
From 7 July 2016
Celebrated sculptor Ron Arad RA will unveil a monumental steel installation in St Pancras International station, which will open to the public on 7 July. It is the second public artwork in a four-year partnership between the RA and St Pancras International.
How to read a Renaissance painting
Renaissance painters combined technical innovation with a richly symbolic visual language. But what did it all mean? The RA’s Lucy Chiswell zooms in on an example from our exhibition In the Age of Giorgione.
Don’t worry what other people say about your work. Be free. That’s what art is about.
Cornelia Parker RA
Courtyard Cinema 2016
This year's screenings include Taxi Driver, Some Like It Hot, Mulholland Drive and Breakfast at Tiffany's.
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
See it online
Ai Weiwei 360
Ai Weiwei was the cultural phenomenon of the year. If you weren’t lucky enough to see the show, this is your chance to experience it online.
Architecture is like writing. You have to edit it over and over so it looks effortless.
Zaha Hadid RA
Shop the exclusive Bob and Roberta Smith RA range
Designed in collaboration with Bob and Roberta Smith RA, this exclusive range for the RA Shop includes a sketchpad, pencil case and canvas brush roll, showcasing the artist's distinctive designs.
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
My studio life: Eileen Cooper RA
As Eileen Cooper RA guides us round both her studios, she tells us about her career in printmaking, and why she loves drawing in charcoal.
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
David Remfry RA on his portraits of people and dogs
There’s a personal story behind every relationship between a dog and its owner. These stories have long fascinated David Remfry RA, who has been painting his friends and New York neighbours with their pets for the past 10 years.
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.