This year's exhibition has 445 artworks in the main exhibition and 35 works in the NADFA's RBA Scholars exhibition and 20 works in the NSAE RBA Scholars exhibition - making a total of 501. So lots to see.
I visited the exhibition last week and have already published a short video relating to the Small Works room (see Video: The Small Works Room at RBA Annual Exhibition 2016 - which is providing quite popular).
This year I'm somewhat perplexed.
One the one hand this is an exhibition which includes a great selection of fine art prints using a variety of approaches - from woodcuts to etchings.
|Wall of prints and near monochrome works in the North Gallery|
|We ain't all middle class Bohemians by Laura Rosser130 x 230 cm (edition of 10, 3 available)|
|Etchings of Venice by Austin Cole|
|Etchings and watercolour by Meg Dutton|
Secret Garden (top left) won the Hahnemeuhle Fine Art UK Award
|Threadneedle Space displayed the work of the RBA Scholar Scheme|
It's also good to see a show which has dedicated some effort to creating an interesting room of small works which are in turn more affordable.
|A corner of the Small Works room in the North Gallery|
BELOW is a video of the room
On the other hand, there is no question that
- some of the paintings in the show are being painted by member artists whose best years are now behind them and whose skills are declining
- a very significant number of RBA members had sold nothing after the exhibition has been on display for more than a week (I counted and calculated that the day I visited 6.4% of the artwork had sold)
- it was difficult to detect the rationale behind some of the awards.
My own feeling is that the artworks which have been juried in from the open entry (i.e. from non-members) out perform a number of the artworks submitted by members - which are NOT juried - by some margin. From my perspective that's just not right.
At some point I'm going to write a blog post examining the purpose of an art society and its annual exhibition. Put simply, for me it's still about artists forming a group so they can exhibit and SELL their work so they can sustain careers as artists and continue to make art. It's everybody's responsibility for keeping the standards high so that it's a worthwhile exhibition to visit - and one which continues to get excellent work coming through the open entry.
In this instance, the quantity of work means that one can overlook some of the weaker aspects of the show. However I can't help feeling it would be a much stronger, busier and better selling show if ALL works were juried......
There are those with very loyal fans and yet again I'd like to note that Judith Gardner sold four of the five works she is exhibiting. She continues to maintain an extremely impressive track record of sales at every exhibition that I see her work exhibited!
|Paintings by Judith Gardner - all sold|
as does Annie Williams who sold two etchings
|Etchings by Annie Williams|
A virtual exhibition
You can view the works in the exhibition in one of two ways:
- on the RBA website - you can view a selection of the works in the exhibition
- you an also view the e-catalogue on Issuu which highlights works by members only
You can also see the list names of the exhibiting artists at the bottom of this page
I must congratulate the RBA webmaster for having all the prizewinners listed on the website while the exhibition is on. It makes a refreshing change compared to a lot of art society websites I review!
The prizewinners and the works that won the prize are listed below.
|A wall of paintings by Nicholas Verrall - winner of the de Lazlo Medal ( in 2015)|
£1,000 plus medal and a special display in the following year's exhibition
|The Alfred Daniels Personal Favourites Awards|
Six prizes of £100
Alan Lambirth RBA
Susan Bower RBA ROI
|Marche Aux Poissons (346)|
The Yellow Kitchen (215)
Shopping Rush (283)
Girls and Dolls (361)
Through the Trees (113)
Mr Cooper Tibbles (40)
|The Artist Magazine Award|
The winner will be featured in The Artist magazine
|Nicola Slattery||All works (340 - 344)|
|The Davison Award for Oil Painting|
|Barbara Richardson RBA||Still Life with Hammershoi (318)|
|The Dry Red Press Award|
Work published as a greeting card
|Carole Griffin RBA||Narcissism (147)|
|The Edward Wesson Award|
for Watercolour Painting £100
|Florence Houston||All works (189 - 192)|
|Frinton Frames Award|
£200 of picture framing at Frinton Frames
|Robert E. Wells RBA||The Swimming Lesson (422)|
|Hahnemeuhle Fine Art UK Award|
£250 worth of materials
|Meg Dutton RBA||Secret Garden (110)|
|The Michael Harding Awards|
Two prizes of £500
|Rowan Crew RBA|
|Morning Light (89)|
|The Michael Harding Awards|
10 painting sets
Matt Alexander Ray
|Darts Club at Harringay Arms N8 9QH (175)|
Carla Tofano (ex-cat)
Apple Blossom (466)
Repeating the View (454)
Motion Study (411)
Nakhl, Oman (Morning) (315)
|The Gordon Hulson Memorial Prize|
for Draughtsmanship, Variety & Exploration
|Lucy Townsend||Contemplation (384)|
|The John Ingram Memorial Prize|
for a Young Artist
|Rose Miller||Blue Bowl (467)|
|The de Laszlo Award|
for Classical Draughtsmanship
|Paulina Pluta||Reclining Nude (306)|
|The de Laszlo Medal||Nicholas Verrall RBA ROI||N/A|
|The Marianne von Werther Memorial Award|
Scholarship in Rome for a young artist
|The Winsor & Newton Painting Award|
Art materials to the value of £500
|Charles Hardaker RBA NEAC||Still Life - White & Grey (169)|
|The Geoffrey Vivis Memorial Award|
|Rebecca Nipps||Charlie (493)|
The exhibition is open until 1 pm on Saturday 2nd April.
Other blog posts about the Royal Society of British Artists
Call for entries
- Make art in Rome - on a scholarship! Nov 26, 2015
- Royal Society of British Artists 2014 Exhibition: Call for Entries
- Royal Society of British Artists 2015 - Annual Exhibition
- Review: Royal Society of British Artists - 296th Annual Exhibition (2013)
- RBA 2012: An exhibition of Middle England? Mar 10, 2012