Friday, May 18, 2007

Royal Society of British Artists: Annual Exhibition 17th - 27th May

The Royal Society of British Artists Annual Exhibition is on show at the Mall Galleries (near Trafalgar Square) in central London from 17th to 27th May. Its aim is to provide a showcase for artwork from the RBA's internationally acclaimed members alongside the best selected work from the open submission.

A little bit of history - as this chimes rather well with Whistler Month! The RBA had its first meeting on 22 May 1823 and received a royal charter in 1887 when Whistler was the President. Eminent past exhibitors include James McNeill Whistler, Walter Sickert and Phillip de Laszlo.

Ever since its inaugural exhibition in 1823, the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of British Artists has apparently been the place to see and buy both innovative and traditional painting, sculpture and printmaking.
"From Whistler, Sickert, L.S Lowry, Henry Moore and Carel Weight to the current outstanding membership, the RBA continues to be a forum for excellence." the current President of the RBS, Romeo Di Girolamo
You can see who the current members of the RBA are here. You are invited to click on the name to find out more information - but nothing happened when I clicked.

You can view images in the exhibition on a dedicated exhibition website. Unfortunately, in my view this website is neither well designed nor easy to navigate. It also appears to represent all the work as relating to 2006!!! However as I've not yet seen the exhibition I had to check the images displayed on the website to those in the brochure I've received. It does appear as if the images are in fact from the current 2007 annual exhibition.(If you have problems working out how to see images comment below - it took me a bit of time to work it out as well!) [Update: I e-mailed the webmaster and some problems with the exhibition site have now been resolved]

The 290th exhibition features the work of John Martin, winner of the 2006 de Laszlo medal. The image at the top of this post is by John Martin. (Note: The image is 'Homage to Bonnard' copyright John Martin RBA)

I must confess to wishing that the Society had sorted their years out and had got rather more slick website arrangements as the current arrangements make the display of art by and information about RBA members somewhat difficult to access plus the links need an overhaul. I'm also slightly bemused as to how this can be characterised as the "290th annual exhibition" for a society which was founded in 1823.......

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