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Joe Lycett: Summer Exhibitionist

Published 21 July 2022

Summer Exhibition 2022 is going to be on the telly. Don’t miss ‘Joe Lycett: Summer Exhibitionist’ on BBC Two on Saturday 23 July, 8pm.

  • Watch ‘Joe Lycett: Summer Exhibitionist’ on BBC iPlayer now.

    Art-loving comedian Joe Lycett will be presenting a special programme all about this year’s Summer Exhibition.

    Joe Lycett: Summer Exhibitionist is a celebration of why people love making and creating art of all kinds. In the programme, Joe follows a fascinating mix of artists submitting to the Summer Exhibition 2022, the world’s largest open-entry art exhibition.

    Joe Lycett is best known as a comedian, but has first-hand experience as a ‘summer exhibitionist’; in 2018 he entered a small sculpture called ‘Chris’ made from clay and a tub of Pringles that ended up in that year’s exhibition. However, Joe’s beginner’s luck deserted him and each year since his artwork has been rejected by the committee, showing just how competitive the selection process can be.

  • Joe Lycett, Chris

    Joe Lycett, Chris, 2018.

    Air dry clay and acrylic. 36 x 22 x 30 cm.

  • Joe will bring the exhibition to BBC audiences by exploring the stages of the judging process and by delving into the remarkable artworks and backstories of his fellow entrants hoping to realise their dream of making it onto the RA walls. From a self-taught photorealist to a retired primary school teacher, a moonlighting web designer and a contemporary Islamic artist, there are veterans of 20 years’ of rejection and first-time success stories. Of the 15,000 works submitted this year, only 900 will end up in the final show.

    Joe brings energy and enthusiasm for the simple joy of making, and delights in getting to know the send-in artists and their work while also unravelling the RA’s quirky traditions. Joining them at the various stages of their adventures, Joe is there to meet the artists as they drop off their works for further judging, as well as on nerve-racking results day, and also celebrates their success when the chosen few first get to see their works hanging in the galleries. By focusing on the vastness and talent displayed in this huge exhibition, the programme highlights the importance of making art, taking part, creativity and why art matters for all.

    “This programme is one of my favourite things I’ve worked on in a long time,” Joe says. “It was such a privilege to meet some of the extraordinary artists and see their brilliant, joyful, thought-provoking and often very funny works. I was massively inspired, and I hope audiences will be too.”

    • Kathleen Ryan, Bad Lemon (Josh)

      Summer Exhibition 2022

      21 June — 21 August 2022

      After two years in winter, the Summer Exhibition is back where it should be. The theme chosen by the exhibition’s coordinator, Alison Wilding RA, is ‘Climate’. Whether as a crisis or opportunity, or simply our everyday experience, it is an all-embracing subject.

      Whether you’re an experience seeker, a budding art collector or a culture-craving family, we know you’ll find the art for you: the exhibition features two rooms of prints selected by Grayson Perry RA, a structure made of elephant dung bricks, and new work by the Singh Twins.