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Explosion at the RA: Michael Craig-Martin brightens up Summer Exhib...

Installation view of Summer Exhibition 2014 c. Benedict Johnson/Royal Academy of ArtsInstallation view of Summer Exhibition 2014

c. Benedict Johnson/Royal Academy of Arts


8 June –16 August 2015

Main Galleries

All Black A5L (2)

London, 13 May 2015: Leading British artist and influential teacher, Michael Craig-Martin RA, this year’s coordinator of the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition, will focus on a new layout of the Main Galleries, where rooms will be characterised by vibrant colours. Craig-Martin has also invited the Turner Prize nominated artist, Jim Lambie, to create a signature, multi-coloured installation for the RA’s main staircase leading up to the Summer Exhibition.

As coordinator of the Summer Exhibition Craig-Martin decided to invite a significant number of mature artists whose work he has long admired to exhibit works this year, some of whom have balanced work as artists with distinguished teaching careers. They include Vanessa Jackson (RA Schools), Stephen Buckley (University of Reading), Jon Thompson (Goldsmiths) and John Hilliard (Slade School of Fine Art), as well as Dick Smith, Keith Milow and Andrew Lord, who have spent much of their career abroad.

Further highlights of the exhibition announced to date include Humument, a monumental work by Tom Phillips RA that has been in progress since 1966. Over the past 49 years, Phillips has altered every page of a Victorian book published in 1892 entitled A Human Document by WH Matlock, transforming it by incorporating drawing, painting, collage and cut-outs to create an entirely new work. Recently elected Honorary Academician William Kentridge will display nine new works on paper in the Small Weston Room, marking the first time he will have exhibited work at the Summer Exhibition. Newly elected Royal Academicians including, Rose Wylie, Rebecca Salter, Eva Rothschild and Farshid Moussavi will also be exhibiting works this year.

This year the Royal Academy received 12,000 entries to the Summer Exhibition, from which a committee of Royal Academicians have invited around 2000 artists to bring their works to the Academy in order to make a selection to hang on the walls of the Main Galleries. Over 1,200 artworks will go on display, the majority of which will be for sale offering visitors an opportunity to purchase original artwork by emerging and established artists. The Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open submission exhibition, comprising a range of media including painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, architecture and film.

The hanging committee for the Summer Exhibition includes Royal Academicians Norman Ackroyd who will oversee the ever-popular print-room, Olwyn Bowey, Gus Cummins, Jock McFadyen, David Remfry, Mick Rooney, Alison Wilding and Bill Woodrow, who will curate a room dedicated to sculpture. The architecture room will be curated by Ian Ritchie RA.

Annenburg Courtyard

Conrad Shawcross RA will create a new site-specific installation for the RA Courtyard for the Summer Exhibition 2015. Entitled The Dappled Light of the Sun, 2015, the large-scale, immersive work will consist of a group of five steel ‘clouds’, which will inhabit the courtyard’s central space. The branching forms will be made up of thousands of tetrahedrons and stand at over six metres high and weigh five tonnes each.

Conrad Shawcross said, “The Greeks considered the tetrahedron to represent the very essence of matter. In this huge work I have taken this form as my ‘brick’, growing these chaotic, diverging forms that will float above the heads of visitors who will be able to wander beneath them. I am extremely excited to see the completed work exhibited for the first time in the RA’s historic Annenburg Courtyard, for which it was conceived.”

Sponsor’s Statement

Abdallah Nauphal, Chief Executive Officer of Insight Investment, said: “ The Royal Academy of Arts’ annual Summer Exhibition heralds the start of the British Summer season. For 247 years it has provided a platform for emerging and established artists alike to share their works with generation upon generation of visitors to the Royal Academy. It was this longevity, coupled with the Academy’s seemingly limitless creativity, that captured our imagination exactly a decade ago. Much has changed over the past decade and much more has changed over the past 247 years, but committed partnerships endure. As we celebrate ten years as lead sponsor of this inspiring showcase of artistic expression, we hope you will share our enthusiasm for the vibrant contribution it makes to the cultural life of the nation. ”

Dates and Opening Hours

Open to public: Monday 8 June – Sunday 16 August 2015 10am – 6pm daily (last admission 5.30pm)

Late night opening:Fridays until 10pm (last admission 9.30pm)


Admission prices include the List of Works giving details on every exhibit in the show.

Adult ticket £13.50 (£12 excluding Gift Aid donation); concessions available; under 16s go free. Friends of the RA go free.


Tickets are available daily at the RA or by visiting .

Group bookings: Groups of 10+ are asked to book in advance. Telephone 020 7300 8027 or email

Social Media

Sign up to Royal Academy of Arts social media channels. @royalacademy #RASummer

This years hanging committee

Michael Craig-Martin RA

Norman Ackroyd RA

Olwyn Bowey RA

Gus Cummins RA

Jock McFadyen RA

David Remfry RA

Ian Ritchie RA

Mick Rooney RA

Alison Wilding RA

Bill Woodrow RA
About the Royal Academy of Arts

The Royal Academy of Arts was founded by King George III in 1768. It has a unique position in being an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to be a clear, strong voice for art and artists. Its public programme promotes the creation, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, education and debate.

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art and culture both mainstream and undergroundAbdallah Nauphal, Alison Wilding, David Remfry, Ian Ritchie, Insight Investments, Jock McFadyen, Michael Craig Martin, Mick Rooney, royal academy summer exhibition 2015Edit

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