Saturday, March 17, 2018

Rejection from the RA Summer Exhibition

This week lots of people got their notification about their entry to this year's Royal Academy of Art Summer Exhibition.

More than 95+% of them will have got a rejection email/letter.

You are in very good company if one of those was you.

Just to give you some perspective if you were rejected, this painting by Peter Brown NEAC ROI PS BSA was also rejected....
"Dear Peter Brown, Thank you for submitting your artwork: NED READING ON THE STUDIO FLOOR. The Members of the Summer Exhibition Committee...regret that they will not be able to include your artwork..."

Ned lying on the Studio Floor
Peter Brown
There have been HOWLS of disbelief on Facebook at this decision - 72 shares (and mine was one such) - and and very many comments - which I have idly wondered about analysing!

Last year I wrote a post called Does the RA Summer Exhibition still have the WOW factor?

#7 of the 10 reasons I gave for why the Summer Exhibition had lost its "WOW" was
7. too few good figurative paintings - by which I mean of the relatively realistic variety. There were any number of the more fantasy oriented or "I can't draw" variety. I see a lot more paintings I like better on a regular basis in the open exhibitions and art competitions exhibiting at the Mall Galleries.
I'm pleased to say that those of you who would like to see it in person will be able to do so at the Annual Exhibition of the New English Art Club which will be at the Mall Galleries between 15 Jun 2018 to 23 Jun 2018

It's worth remembering that NEAC was originally set up by those who were disgruntled by the decisions of those running the RA!
Historically, the New English was founded by a group of artists dissatisfied with the entrenched attitudes of the Royal Academy. They mounted their first show in 1886 including paintings by Clausen, Sickert and Stanhope Forbes. The club increasingly attracted younger artists, bringing with them the influence of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Many diverse styles of art have developed since its founding, adding richness and variety.

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Previous reviews of the Summer Exhibition


  1. Great post! I am one of the NEAC drawing scholars this year and have heard of five other NEAC artist members who, like Peter, were rejected.

  2. That is a wonderful painting.
    I suspected that the theme 'Art made now' would seriously disadvantage artists using traditional methods, recognised styles and conventional perspective, no matter how current, relevant and impressive the work might be.
    As a result I entered two small portraits - the other end of the scale from Mr Brown's work - which I made by collaging small fimo clay stickers, the kind used in beauticians' nail art. I was thinking innovative, ironic, amusing, with modern memes like emoticons. Both rejected, I'm sure justifiably so, but it makes me wonder what exactly they were looking for, other than 35 quid per entry.

  3. Maybe NEAC members should look upon it as a badge of honour to be rejected - given NEAC was set up when artists rejected the RA?

  4. The Sumnmer Show at the RA has gradually become little more than circus or cabaret. The years of the Serota and Saatchi regime have produced an Inner Party that is shallow and self-obsessed with very little to say about the human condition.


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