Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

This weekend, I took the opportunity to visit the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition 2017. It is one of my absolute favourite art exhibitions of the year and has become something I look forward to every summer. This particular exhibition is one of the largest open submission exhibitions in the world and, as such, is jam-packed with gorgeous art in every shape and form. I was on the look out for textile pieces given my ambition to submit a rag rug piece next year, and below are the stand out artworks I singled out. Hope you like my selection and feel inspired 🙂 

Like this post and want to see more? You can see my highlights from the 2016 Summer Exhibition here.

Photos from the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017:

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017 Textile Art

This piece from Abdoulaye Konaté was one of the few textile pieces from the 2017 show but it was in pride of place on the left as you came in. I liked the richness of the colours but for a cool £38,000, I don’t think it will be adorning my living room any time soon!

Royal academy 2017 show ice skating painting clouds

This was one of my favourite pieces from the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017, which actually quite surprised me as I’m a colour lover down to my core. There was something quite brooding and forbidding about this painting by Mick Rooney but the skill involved was just immense.

Tree Painting Royal Academy 2017 People sitting cat branches

I’m generally drawn to quite naive art when I pick a piece so this one is straight up my alley. When I first looked around the exhibition, I didn’t look at any of the stories behind the pieces so it was a real guessing game trying to work out what the names in the tree meant. I still don’t know what they mean but I’ll ask my mum to find out when she visits at the weekend.

People Browsing at the Royal Academy

It’s hard to get a real idea of the scale of the Summer Exhibition without visiting. The paintings I am featuring are but the tip of the iceberg of work as you can see from this photo! Here you can get a better idea of the scale.

Royal Academy Main Room Paintings on White Wall

There are so many paintings jam packed into the exhibition that sometimes it’s hard to know where to look!

Leprechaun Art at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

It wouldn’t the Summer Exhibition without some truly weird art so here it goes… anyone have a clue what’s going on here?

Yellow Branch Painting with Names Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

I suspect this piece is by the same artist as the previous tree piece I featured but I was drawn to it initially because it’s just so simple but beautiful.

Snow Scene Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

This painting was also by Mick Rooney (like the painting from the first room with yellow walls). There’s something so emotive about the scene and the colour pallette is just perfection.

Moon Painting Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

I really love this painting of a full moon – it’s ethereal and beautiful. It has a really unusual scale and perspective to it.

Architectural Room Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

One of the rooms in the show was dedicated entirely to the beauty of architectural plans. This was Christian’s favourite part of the exhibition but was a little masculine for my taste. I liked the geometic shapes of this particular piece though.

Mixed media painting Summer exhibition 2017

There weren’t an awful lot of pieces of art with fabric used in them but this mixed media piece by Christine Scoby-Smith was one of them.

Yellow Mini Car Painting Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

I drive a mini so there was something about this painting by Gethin Evans that resonated with me. It’s one of the pieces that I can imagine hanging in my home 🙂

Cross Stitched Trees Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

I was on the lookout for any art which could be seen to cross over with craft and this fitted the bill. These needle pointed trees must have taken forever to make! Stella Knight did us crafters proud.

Matisse Painting Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

I’m a huge fan of the piece in the centre of this photo as it reminds me a lot of Matisse’s cut outs. The colours remind me of the Caribbean.

People looking around the royal academy summer exhibition grey wall

I loved the way that the pieces were curated and walls were painted different colours to make the paintings pop.

Four Royal Academy Paintings

I’m drawn to bold colours like a moth to a flame so these four paintings immediately drew my eye from across the room. I think my favourite is the bottom right piece.

Stacked Balls Statue Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

The Summer Exhibition 2017 has its fair share of statues as well as conventional art. I liked this statue of stacked spheres but really wanted to touch it.

Floating Coffee Pots Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

These two coffee pots were exactly the same before one was flattened. It’s a bit quirky to have them floating but certainly drew the eye.

Pink Coral Sculpture Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

I have no idea what this particular sculpture is but it makes me think of coral in the sea (which evokes good memories).

There is still art there is still hope Painting Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

These two pieces were particularly popular as you can see by the huge number of red “sold” stickers at the bottom of them both.

Gillian Ayres Paintings Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

I absolutely adore Gillian Ayres’ bright paintings. She had some exceptional pieces in last year’s exhibition and I liked these ones too.

American Scenery Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

The sky in this painting is one of my favourite colours but the scene is bit remote and eery for my taste.

Striking Painting Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

One of the most striking pieces I encountered was this painting which reminds me of an alien. I love how it contrasts against the terracotta wall behind.

Globe Head Statue Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

I love the pattern on the body of this statue by Yinka Shonibare but I’m not convinced by the globe head. Better not knock it over for £162,000!

Textile art royal academy summer exhibition 2017

This piece from the Summer Exhibition 2017 was also by Abdoulaye Konaté.

Crochet Art Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

I stared at this crochet art for an age just trying to get my head around how much work must have gone into making it. The vibrant colours remind of India and Bollywood. Zak Ové is the textile artist who made it.

Fish Painting Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

I’m not going to pretend that I understand what is going on in this painting but I still really like it. The fish look happy and it looks great agains the orange backdrop.

Donald Trump Painting Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

Art is a big player in the world of politics and Trump is obviously the man of the hour.

Black and White paintings royal academy summer exhibition 2017

I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be to organise all the wonderful paintings in the show.

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017 Sculpture

Bizarre but cool sculpture…

Amy Winehouse Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

An Amy Winehouse model made entirely out of sequins and beads by Sarah Gwyer… what’s not to like!

Water Lillies on Pond Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

This artwork fromJulian Schnabel at the Summer Exhibition 2017 was made out of broken plates and oil. The texture was just amazing.

Summer Exhibition Art 2017

And finally the last photo I took at the exhibition was this gorgeous blue masterpiece. I found it energising and the more I looked at it, the more I saw. Lovely, just lovely.

So that’s my run through of highlights from the Summer Exhibition 2017. I hope you like the artworks and I’d love to know which are your favourites (please do comment below).

Love,

Elspeth x

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