For over 250 years, the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition has been running without fail. Showcasing all forms of art from painting to prints and sculpture, the Summer Exhibition is the perfect place to discover new talent.
This momentous exhibition has become a beloved occasion in the arts calendar, and a constant reminder of the joys of art and creativity. As the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition opens its doors to visitors, we want to celebrate the achievements of our artists taking part in the annual showcase.
Get to know just a few of our artists that are taking part in this year’s Summer Exhibition.
Printer and illustrator Charlotte Farmer has a particular affinity for bold colours and graphic designs. From grizzly bears, to match boxes and spice tins, Charlotte’s artworks are a joyful depiction of forgotten objects, giving them their own narrative and promoting ideas of storytelling and creativity. These unusual combinations make for heart warming and nostalgic compositions that are sure to brighten up your day. Charlotte’s limited edition screen print that was accepted into the Summer Exhibition stands out brilliantly against Grayson Perry’s bright yellow walls. Take a look for yourself in the image above.
Hooksmith Press is a New Zealand-born typography artist that uses old fashioned printing techniques to capture a vintage charm in his artworks. Hooksmith's love of the written word shines through in his unique collection of letterpress prints. The former fly fisher has also been collecting Kiwiana and other ephemera from his home country for over 30 years, and he is heavily influenced by his heritage. Embracing tradition, Hooksmith’s hand-crafted prints are an homage to forgotten printing processes and a “slower time” in printmaking.
In an interview with Art Republic about the Summer Exhibition, Hooksmith talked about how important this was to him: " Having a piece of work selected for the Summer exhibition is really important, as it allows me to show my work to a greater audience. I also feel it is an endorsement of my art which I can be proud of - turns out 'suffering for your art' is worth it. As a keen fly fisherman, I see it as another feather in my cap."
Spoken by the artist himself, he likes to “collect and re-use elements from the past to create something new; a tangible and tactile connection to history and a continuation of a craft." We’re excited to see Hooksmith’s Hackneyed on the walls of the Royal Academy this year. Click here to take a closer look at the artwork, and maybe even get one for your own home.
Bird's Instant Whip III, 2020 by Little Fish Design is featured in the Summer Exhibition
Little Fish Design’s eclectic and endearing artworks are light-hearted amalgamations of the classical and the contemporary. Little Fish Design creates a witty blend of high and low art. Taking Renaissance-inspired portraiture to combine with disparate materials such as sweet wrappers creates nostalgic artworks that are a delight to the eye.
The artist said of his inclusion in this year's exhibition: "It was wonderful to get into this year's Summer Show and doubly so as it was picked to be in one of Grayson Perry's rooms and on the walls with some really fabulous artists. It's been such a joy to take part in, total fun. Everyone at the RA have been so friendly, relaxed and professional. I'll definitely be trying again next year."
Inspired by the work of Peter Blake, we love how the Little Fish Design appeals to the viewer’s sense of humour and brings these forgotten portraits back to life. Take a look at Little Fish Design’s nostalgic entry into the Summer exhibition above, and get your hands on the print here.
From comic books to Botticelli paintings, French illustrative artist Delphine Lebourgeois works from a variety of influences. Delphine blends together high and low influences to create playful artworks that are surrealist and vibrant in nature. We love how Delphine places great importance on the art of storytelling, promoting a strong feminist rhetoric and championing themes of empowerment and female solidarity. Having enjoyed great success collaborating with big brands and businesses such as Soho House, The New Yorker and The Guardian, we’re overjoyed that the Royal Academy has recognised Delphine’s stunning artwork.
Danish-born artist Lene Bladbjerg’s prints capture the joys of everyday life, focusing on those smaller moments that often feel insignificant at the time. We love how Lene manages to capture the hidden beauty in her environment, finding it in even the most mundane of settings. Whether it be her tongue-in-cheek typography prints or her intricate nature-inspired scenes, Lene’s art is a delightful explosion of contrasting colour. Her refreshing palette allows for her simple compositions to stand out against any background. Lene has exhibited her work across the globe, and now we have the pleasure of seeing her typography print in this year’s Summer Exhibition.
Artist duo Newton Blades’s haunting seascapes, abstract portraits and interesting compositions are just the tip of the creative iceberg when it comes to this husband and wife pairing. These disparate scenes of expansive oceans leave behind an eerie atmosphere that leave the viewer on edge, reaching for a narrative that has been obscured by the artist. Playing around with angles, composition and space, Newton Blades leave no stone unturned when it comes to the presentation of their artwork. The piece accepted for this year's Summer exhibition, pictured above, is a fun take on a traditional seascape scene but with a unique, off-centre touch.
To find out more about the prestigious Summer Exhibition, read our interview with Hooksmith Press, and take a look at our blog delving into the history of the exhibition. Are you planning a visit to the Royal Academy to see the artworks up close? Tag us @artrepublic in your social media posts.