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Summer Exhibition 2021

22 September 2021 — 2 January 2022

This exhibition is now closed

See upcoming exhibitions


"a thrilling, thoughtful showcase"

The Guardian


"This is a show to carry us forward, throwing a bit of magic into the mix."

The Times


“Shonibare has infused the entire RA with his ideas.”

The Guardian

"A bold and refreshing takeover"

The Telegraph


"A vein of exuberance runs all the way through"

The Observer

The world’s most joyful art exhibition is back. From icons to the up-and-coming, find the art you love from over 1,300 works selected by coordinator Yinka Shonibare and a panel of artists, under the theme of ‘Reclaiming Magic’.

Please note:

– Visitors are required to wear a face covering inside the RA (unless exempt). Find out more about visiting safely.
– Download our large print guide.

Held every year without fail, the Summer Exhibition is a celebration of contemporary art and architecture. Anyone can enter their work – leading artists, household names, new and emerging talent – and it provides a platform for the artistic community to showcase what they’re doing.

Across our Main Galleries, you can peruse prints, paintings, photography and film, as well as sculpture, architectural works and more. You can even take one home as most of the work is for sale; proceeds support both the exhibiting artist and the RA’s charitable activities, including training the next generation of artists at the Royal Academy Schools.

This year, you’ll find work by Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Michael Armitage, Jade Montserrat, Hew Locke, Rita Keegan and Alvaro Barrington, plus work by self-taught artists such as Frantz Lamothe, Bärbel Lange and Marie-Rose Lortet. That’s on top of an Architecture Room curated by David Adjaye RA, an accompanying sound programme, new works by Phyllida Barlow RA, William Kentridge RA and many more, not to mention brilliant art submitted by members of the public.

All this comes together in an array of art and ideas. It’s the tonic we all need this autumn.

Summer Exhibition bar open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.


22 September 2021 — 2 January 2022

Tues–Sun: 10am–6pm

£20–22. Concessions available. Sign up for email updates on tickets. Everyone, including Friends of the RA members, must book a ticket before arriving.

Main Galleries, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts