RA Summer 3

Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts

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Temporarily closed - Unhindered by war and for the first time in its 252 year history, don't miss the Royal Academy's winter edition of the Summer Exhibition.

Event Info

Date & Time

December 03 - January 03

Monday – Sunday, 10am–6pm


Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly, London, UK

Tel: +44 (0)20 7300 8090

Tickets & Prices

From £18 - £22. Concessions available.

Book Tickets

Don't miss the megalithic mother of all art shows.

Unhindered by war and for the first time in its 252 year history, the Royal Academy of Arts' Summer Exhibition is on in winter.

Running from 6th October 2020 - 3rd January 2021, explore a myriad of works by household names and emerging artists inside London’s most joyous festival of art.

Offering tickets from just £18 per adult and free for under 16s, this must-see exhibition is a unique window representing what is happening in the contemporary art world right now.

Coordinated by artist duo Jane and Louise Wilson RA, alongside the Summer Exhibition Committee, the curation seeks to challenge the definition of what community us and what form collective communities can begin to take.

Themes this year reflect upon identity, immigration, contested borders, ecological threat, climate change, pro-democracy protest and landscape, in the form of installation, painting, film, photography and sculpture.

The majority of works in the Summer Exhibition will be for sale, offering visitors an opportunity to purchase original pieces. Funds raised support the exhibiting artists, the postgraduate students studying in the RA Schools and the not-for-profit work of the Royal Academy.

So, whether you’re looking to spot new talent hanging out alongside art world megastars, or add a splash of colour to your walls at home, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Get your tickets online here. Or, call +44 (0)20 7300 8090.

Looking to learn more about the curators?

Isaac Julien RA is curating the first two galleries and his selection of invited artists is an homage to the late curator and art historian Okwui Enwezor (1963-2019). Many of the artists whose careers Enwezor influenced have contributed work and include Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Theaster Gates, Oscar Murillo, Wangechi Mutu, Chris Ofili and Isaac Julien himself.

Sculptor Richard Deacon RA is curating the sculpture gallery.

Two Royal Academicians are curating their galleries virtually; Eileen Cooper is managing prints and Stephen Farthing is working from Jordan curating galleries 3 and 9.

Sonia Boyce RA has encouraged many artists who have never shown at the Summer Exhibition to contribute to her gallery.

Once again, in addition to the large number of public submissions, Royal Academicians and Honorary Academicians will be showcasing new works, including Tracey Emin, Rebecca Horn, Anselm Kiefer, Julian Schnabel, Gillian Wearing and Ai Weiwei.

What’s new this year?

A new element for the 2020 edition is the introduction of ‘invisible walls’ in some of the gallery spaces. Featuring walls suspended from the ceiling on wires to accommodate both two-dimensional works and video screens, adding another dimension to the hang.

Plus, for the first time, the Royal Academy will also present a virtual Viewing Room experience, sharing a curator’s selection of a number of key works in this year’s exhibition, alongside an interactive tour of the galleries.

Browse and buy many of the works displaying in the Summer Exhibition 2020 online through the Summer Exhibition Explorer, available from 29 September 2020.

Want to learn more about the prizes?

This year the Royal Academy received over 18,000 entries, of which around 1000 works, in a range of media, will go on display.

Over £62,500 will be offered in awards and prizes for every category of work in the Summer Exhibition. Works will be judged democratically on merit and the final selection is made during the eight-day hang in the galleries.

The awards include:

  1. The Royal Academy of Arts Charles Wollaston Award: £25,000 awarded by a panel of judges appointed by the President and Council for the most distinguished work in the exhibition.
  2. The Jack Goldhill Award for Sculpture: £10,000 for a sculpture.
  3. The Jerwood London Original Print Fair Prize: £10,000 for a print in any medium.
  4. The British Institution Awards for Students: Two prizes of £5,000 and £3,000 for work across a comprehensive range of creative disciplines from painting to architecture.
  5. The Hugh Casson Drawing Prize: £5,000 for an original work on paper in any medium, where the emphasis is clearly on drawing.
  6. The Sunny Dupree Family Award for a Woman Artist: £4,000 for a painting or sculpture.
  7. The Arts Club Award: £2,500 awarded to an artist aged 35 or under for a work in any medium except architecture.

So, what are you waiting for?

The Summer Exhibition has filled the RA's galleries every year since 1769 – it's been a witness (and a player) in many of British art history's biggest moments.

Celebrating the world’s most unique contemporary art and architecture, it provides a vital platform and support for the artistic community, even now at a time when artists have been denied important opportunities to show work.

Whatever you decide, get ready to explore the most innovative Summer Exhibition ever to go on display in the heart of London’s original cultural district.

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