Monday, September 03, 2018

The Royal Academy of Arts 2019 Exhibition Programme

The Royal Academy of Arts have announced their 2019 programme of exhibitions. There seem to be more than usual - however I guess the redevelopment created extra space!

The star of the show for me is the exhibition of self-portraits by Lucian Freud in just over a year's time


Lucian Freud, Reflection (Self-portrait), 1985.
Oil on canvas, 56.2 x 51.2 cm.
Private collection, on loan to the Irish Museum of Modern Art
© The Lucian Freud Archive / Bridgeman Images

This is the listing. It doesn't include the exhibitions in smaller spaces - but it does include:
  • one  blockbuster by a contemporary painter (I predict)
  • one 'likely to be very popular' overview of a major theme of the Renaissance
  • two solo exhibitions for Royal Academicians - and one shared with Michelangelo's drawings
  • two exhibitions of artwork by two lesser known European artists
  • two annual events

Winter / Spring 2019


Bill Viola / Michelangelo 26 January – 31 March 2019 Main Galleries


  • the first exhibition at the Royal Academy largely devoted to video art
  • combines the work of the pioneering video artist, Honorary Royal Academician Bill Viola (b. 1951), with drawings by Michelangelo (1475-1564).
  • comprises 12 major video installations by Viola (from 1977 to 2013) alongside 15 works by Michelangelo. They include 14 highly finished drawings, considered to be the high point of Renaissance drawing, as well as the Royal Academy’s ‘Taddei Tondo’.
  • organised by the Royal Academy of Arts in partnership with Royal Collection Trust.

Phyllida Barlow RA 23 February – 23 June 2019 The Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries


  • series of large-scale installations across all three of the classical galleries
Throughout her long career Barlow has consistently directed her focus away from the formal permanence of the sculptural tradition – eschewing notions of the monument and the monumental.
Phyllida Barlow, demo, Kunsthalle Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland, 2017.
Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. © Phyllida Barlow. Photo: Annik Wetter Photographie

Spring / Summer 2019


It seems like a very flesh coloured summer and autumn

The Renaissance Nude 3 March – 2 June 2019 Sackler Wing of Galleries

the emergence of the nude as a prominent artistic theme in Early Modern Europe within the contexts of the revival of the antique and the rise of naturalism.
  • tells the story of the depiction of the human form during the Renaissance
  • includes Titian, Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Dürer and Cranach
  • covers sacred art to secular and the Renaissance in the south and north of Europe
  • Organised by the Royal Academy of Arts and J. Paul Getty Museum

Agnolo Bronzino, St. Sebastian, c.1533.
Oil on panel, 87 x 76.5 cm.
© Museo Nacional Thyssen- Bornemisza, Madrid

London Original Print Fair 2019 Main Galleries 25 – 28 April 2019


  • the world’s longest running specialist fair dedicated to prints
  • exhibitors from around the world, covering all periods of printmaking 
  • www.londonprintfair.com

Summer Exhibition 2019 10 June – 13 August 2019 Main Galleries


  • 251st year of the the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show
  • range of media from painting, printmaking and photography, to sculpture, architecture and film. 
  • Around 1200 works on display, the majority of which will be for sale 

Félix Vallotton 30 June – 29 September 2019 Sackler Wing of Galleries 


  • Swiss artist Félix Vallotton (1865–1925) - the Paris-based Nabi group of the 1890s
  • comparatively little known outside his native Switzerland.  
  • Comprising over 80 paintings and prints, the exhibition will be the first ever to show Vallotton’s paintings in the UK. 
  • Organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in collaboration with Fondation Félix Vallotton, Lausanne

Félix Vallotton, Bathing on a Summer Evening, 1892-93.
Oil on canvas, 97.0 x 131.0 cm.
Kunsthaus Zürich, Gottfried Keller Foundation, Federal Office of Culture, Berne, 1965

Summer/Autumn 2019


Helene Schjerfbeck 20 July – 27 October 2019 The Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries 


  • a survey of the long and productive career of Finnish artist Helene Schjerfbeck (1862-1946) - who is a Finnish national icon
  • retrospective survey of her career via 60 portraits, landscapes and still lifes - including:
    • artwork from her time spent in France and in the artists’ colony of St Ives, Cornwall, in the late 1880s.
    • a sequence of progressively abstracted and increasingly raw self-portraits painted throughout her life from the age of 22 to 84 that reveal her fascination with ageing and the physical deterioration of the self.
  • see 48 paintings on wikiart

Antony Gormley 21 September – 3 December 2019 Main Galleries 


"his most significant solo exhibition for over a decade"

Antony Gormley, LOST HORIZON I, 2008.
Cast iron, 189 x 53 x 29 cm (32 elements).
Installation view, White Cube, Mason’s Yard, London, England.
Photograph by Stephen White, London © the artist

Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits 27 October 2019 – 26 January 2020 Sackler Wing of Galleries


Executed over almost seven decades on canvas, paper and etching plate, around 50 works will chart the trajectory through Lucian Freud’s (1922 – 2011) development as a painter: from his early, more linear and graphic works to the fleshier painterly style that became the hallmark of his mature work.
  • the first exhibition to focus on the artist’s self-portraits (which seems odd)
  • 50 self-portraits as paintings, prints and drawings
  • span nearly seven decades and provide an insight into his development
When asked if he was a good model for himself Freud replied, “No, I don’t accept the information that I get when I look at myself, that’s where the trouble starts”.

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