Sunday, August 17, 2008

Which art sold at the Summer Exhibition?

Afternoon tea in the Annenberg Courtyard
8" x10", pencil and coloured pencil in Moleskine sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

It's official - I know what collectors like to buy! Or rather what the public likes to buy.

How do I know? How can I be so confident about my expertise? Why should I be so presumptuous even? Well, I paid my third visit to the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in Piccadilly on Thursday (which has been open since 9 June - see ) and was rather unnerved as I went round.

Almost without fail, all the art that I had picked out on earlier visits in early and mid June and said I liked or loved had sold - and none of the art I hated (and some of it I really hated!) boasted a red spot! It really was very unnerving. For years my party trick has been picking out the most expensive painting in a gallery from several feet away, but I must confess I'm quite often bemused at exhibitions as to the works which have sold and those which have not! This is the first time I've visited an exhibition and the red spots have exactly tied in with my views about what was OK and what was not - according to 'The Great British Public' that is! ;)

To some extent it wasn't difficult.
  • 75% of the small figurative/representational paintings in the Small Weston Room have sold (I counted!) - and there's still two weeks to go. (see room guide). I've never been able to understand why the type of art in this room doesn't get more space and why the gargantuan pieces in the large galleries get so much (I'm referring to pieces which cover a large proportion of very large walls!) . I know which art the public likes looking at!
  • The Large Weston Room is always the print gallery of the Exhibition. Virtually all the artist printmakers whose work was hung in there had sold/made sales with some selling very large numbers of limited edition prints. Norman Ackroyd is apparently way out in front in terms of overall on sales. Ackroyd is both a Royal Academician and a Senior Fellow at the Royal College of Arts.
  • Out in the other big galleries it was a very different story. There are lots of large works which are unsold - including large paintings by artists who are normally a 'dead cert' to sell at the Summer Exhibition. Of course the issue might be pricing and the impact of the 'very nearly recession'..........
On this third visit, I yet again really appreciated the sculpture this year and I hope the approach adopted will be followed again in subsequent years. I also really liked the way the final gallery was devoted to large representational paintings by Academicians and felt this achieved a better balance and pathway between the different types of art shown in the exhibition.

The Pimms Bar at the Summer Exhibition 2008,
Gallery III, Royal Academy of Arts 6th June 2008
8" x10", pencil and coloured pencil in Moleskine sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

The sketch at the top was done while drinking a cup of tea and sitting under a very large canopy in the Annenberg Courtyard at the front of Burlington House. The horse in the background is a sculpture and one of the exhibits! I really like doing sketches where a group of people only occupy the bottom third of the drawing -you can see more here.

The one immediately above was sketched while teetering (see below) on a stool at the Private View on 6th June!
I enjoyed my Private View of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition on Friday. It was packed as usual and, as usual, I did my annual sketch of the Pimms Bar! This time I did the sketch from some new seating - which was AWFUL. Can I just repeat that - TRULY AWFUL - just in case anybody from the RA is reading. Bar type stools which are inherently unstable are a health and safety risk - and I had to sit very still while sketching this because although the view was very good and I had a table to sit at and put my Pimms on, any sudden movement saw me lurching towards the ground very quickly!

I later discovered that the alternative new benches placed in every room were equally badly designed. They made horrendous creaking noises as people sat on them - and I soon discovered this was because they are supporting the weight of 6-8 people with an inadequate design and no support in the middle. I made sure to sit towards the ends and I recommend anybody visiting to do likewise.

I did begun to wonder whether the chairs and benches were somebody's idea a performance art installation! Certainly the antics of people responding to the disconcerting nature of the seating were interesting to watch although I could have done without the experiences of 'sitting'.
Making A Mark -
8th June 2008: Who's made a mark this week?

No comments:

Post a Comment

I always check identities and ALL links in comments for spam.

Due to excessive attempts to introduce spam via comments on this blog, I've introduced a regime where all comments with links in the ID or text to the websites of hotels/resorts/tourist destinations will NOT be approved and are deleted. The websites of repeat spammers are also reported to Google.

Nice, sensible people who are not new to blogging probably don't need to read my Comments Policy


Related Posts with Thumbnails