Today we went on our annual outing to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. After too much wintery weather, the dial seems to have been reset to summer, and this outing was appropriate. This year is supposed to have a substantially different approach to the hanging: for a start the theme was to be smaller works. And the exhibition starts with the Wohl Central Hall this year, which has been painted red - and great it looks too. The Portrait of a young man standing sculpture by Leonad McComb RA is polished bronze which reflects all the reds and other bright colours around, and I thought looked just wonderful.
I particularly liked John Hoyland's two paintings which can be seen to the left of the sculpture. His bold colours zing against the red just as much as they do on a conventionally white painted wall.
All the paintings in this room looked good against the red, and two struck me in particular: first the figurative Catch August by Marilyn Hallam. I loved the transparency in this, capturing so well the heat of living in the city in summer.
The second painting which drew my attention was After the flood by David Gould. This is a painted relief in ox blood red and off-creamy white. And what has been even more pleasurable than the fleeting experience of being attracted to the piece amongst the blizzard of viewing so much is the delight of finding out more when searching online. I shall be able to savour this work for a wee while now.
This large room is usually full of huge paintings jostling for attention - each one shouting its wares at the top of its voice. This year however, a wave form of small pieces, each spaced with enough room to breathe, sweeps round at a generally comfortable height for viewing. This made the room feel most pleasant and relaxed, and I enjoyed walking round. There are many many paintings here, but so very few drew my attention.
The to me exquisite oil painting City by Alicia Rothman,
the elegant, sketch-like Seated Figure by John Wragg RA were two,
and the intriguing and delicate Burning Light from her Sunshine Drawing Series by Julia Hutton stood out and made me want to find out more. The other attraction in this room was that there are three stitched works amongst the paintings: Housework by Caren Garfen, From where I am looking by Miranda Arglye, and Untitled, a multi-coloured abstract embroidery by Lara Punch.
47 minutes ago