Saturday, 8 August 2009

RA Summer Exhibition 2009

After over 2 weeks off on sick leave with 'Presumed Swine Flu' it was relief to get back to work on Thursday and talk to someone else apart from Ian! I felt I deserved a bit of culture and personal space so went this morning to the Royal Academy for the Summer Exhibition. As it's in it's last week the Bryan Kneale sculpture in the courtyard had already been taken away but there was plenty to see. I bought the illustrated catalogue this year as (unusually) it had quite a few images of artwork I'd liked. And as my scanner is now working ( having gone back to Windows XP instead of Vista) I can show you a few pictures of things that caught my eye. I've had an interesting afternoon looking up websites of artists that I'd made notes on - hope you find something worth following up too. 210 'Stack' Joby Williamson
As in previous years, I think some of the most interesting selection of work were the prints in the Large Weston Room. Old favourites Barbara Rae, Chris Orr and Norman Ackroyd had varied prints on display - the book by Norman Ackroyd and Douglas Dunn 'A Line in the Water' is definately on my wishlist. Idris Khan was a new discovery - his 'Blossfeldt...After Blossfeldt-Art forms' was dream-like with a very subtle build-up of multiple layers, a quality shared by 'Avatar 1 and 2' by Rhys Himsworth. I loved the transparent overlays of coloured buckets in 'Stack' by Joby Williamson (above). It gave me ideas of what I might do in Chunghi Lee masterclass in a couple of weeks with layers of organza!
971'Japanese landscape' Morgan Doyle
Prints were't confined to the 'Large Weston' - this woundrous woodcut by Morgan Doyle was hung among a varied selection of paintings in room VII. I like what is on his website too.
647 'Joints Joining' Richard Wilson
Among the academicians, I was struck by this piece by Richard Wilson with a wire 'drawing' superimposed over a print - I could see this working in stitch. Besides admiring new work by Jennifer Durrant and Gillian Ayres, I really liked the heavily textured paintings by Sonia Lawson with their quality of cave paintings or weathered frescoes.

616'Downstrean Thaw' Anthony Whishaw

My favourite piece of the exhibition however was this painting by Anthony Whishaw- I love the patterns in this. I thought his work was new to me but when I checked out his website realised I'd made notes on his work in previous years - they just hadn't grabbed me in quite the same way as this piece does.

When I was in the shop buying the catalogue, I couldn't resist buying this sculptural silk scarf ( which I'm now analysing to see how it was done!)
There were a few pieces involving textiles (other than canvas!)'Nomad' by Nurdan Iskender was a vigorous drawing of a tribal figure swathed in flowery textiles - with pieces of these fabrics incorporated, while 'Wedding Dress' by Julia Hamilton was a collograph -of a wedding dress( and had picked up the varying textures of lace and silk really well).
In the Large Weston rooms there was a sampler stitched in silks on linen 'I can change' by Miranda Argyle. Investigations on the web led to further interesting stitched pictures and some fascinating links to the sampler by Elizabeth Parker in the V&A which as I'm not an embroiderer, I knew nothing about.
That's what I love about the Summer Exhibition and why I was keen not to miss it - the variety of work and the unexpected directions it can take you.


Mai-Britt Axelsen said...

So glad you are well again - two weeks in bed is enough to make you sick ;O)

Thanks for sharing the exhibition, good to see for those of us living in remote places.

Do you have the name of the maker of the scarf? You see, I have one very like it, that I bought years ago at the V&A museum shop.........

magsramsay said...

Thanks Mai-Britt,
The maker of the scarf is Tammy Child

margaret said...

Thanks for those copious useful links, and the smattering of photos - I had to miss this show this year.

The collograph of the wedding dress is a bit of a tour de force!

Olga said...

Thank you so much for your post Mags. You reminded me that time was running out, and so I did not miss a really great show.

neki desu said...

ouch!i go away and come back to your swine flu :(
glad to hear you're well.
thanks for the lovely links

Olga said...

Thanks also for nudging me in the direction of this month's Ragged Cloth Cafe subject!