Summer Exhibition 2013

At the Royal Academy

Being a little overwhelmed and unable to understand much of what was going on at last year’s exhibition (it’s me, not them), I was prepared once more to gaze and under-appreciate the masterworks on display at this year’s show and by George what a silly mistake that was.

To demonstrate, husband and I had managed to make it through just half a room before we realised we needed more, we needed the pocket sized ‘list of works’ yellow booklet, available back at the entrance to participate wholeheartedly in the joy that was taking place in front of our eyes. So quick we dashed there, purchased and dashed back, now armed ready for our expedition through the main galleries.

You see for me (and hopefully him), there is something ambrosial about identifying the art you like and believing it could be yours. For this 214 page pocket sized guide provides the peruser with key information like ‘can I afford it?’, which 9.75 times out of 10 indicates No! – though for that 0.25, you can go into interior design over-drive, discussing where that etching should go (a very easy decision when your home is less than large) or feeling miffed that if only you’d come sooner, it would be your red dot signalling the sale on that great piece which would be perfect above the piano.

In addition to seeking out more affordable finds, I found myself particularly taken by the whole exhibition itself.  The mix is great and along the way I discovered a few things about me.

Number 1: I’ve definitely got a taste for Ken Howard

Number 2: That I really really want End of Empire in the British Museum (1056) by Georgia Hayes – google it, it’s supreme.

Number 3: That you can find exquisite perfection by simply resting your eyes upon Yoko XII (949), an inkjet print by Don Brown

Number 4: Grayson Perry makes me laugh. His works are fabulously filled with cleverness, comment and colour. And…I was reminded also…that I haven’t been determined enough (and must try harder) to persuade someone…anyone…that the silk scarf that he designed (and is on sale currently at the Tate Modern shop), would look simply special around my neck.

I shan’t flatter myself that I really understand art, however I will say I know what I like and I liked this.

It’s on until the 18 August

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