Jennifer Letchet Paintings

My work explores fundamental elements of painting, the relationship between colour and line. I intend my paintings to affect the viewer optically with the illusion of shapes moving and receding. Colour theory is very important to my work. I use specific hues to symbolise ideas or emotions. The contained shapes on canvases seem more like objects than lines. My recent work explores natural and man-made disasters and the impact this has on our environment. I want to record the changing landscape through simplified shapes and colours.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Review: Summer Exhibition 2013 at the Royal Academy of Art 10/06/13

I went to see this year's Royal Academy of Art Summer Exhibition on the first day it opened to the public on Monday 10th June, mainly because I usually end up going near the end and it's always packed out.  I think everyone else who went on Monday thought the same thing too, because it was very busy!  It's busy for a reason, the Summer Exhibition is in it self a British Institution.  It is always and exciting and dynamic show.  There is always something for everyone from the print room, to abstract and figurative painting, sculpture and architecture.  For the art novice there are the recogniseable Tracey Emin's and Quentin Blake's, and for the art fan Ian Davenport's, Gillian Ayres' and Nash's sculptures.  In between all of the famous artists are Britain's finest amateur and student artists.  

Does this format actually work?

Personally, I think not.  It is patronising to the public.  The exhibition is portrayed as a show representing contemporary art from Britain, selected by the work's merit, not because of an artist's qualifications, fame or the brand they represent.  However, judging by the guide book to the exhibition, approximately 70% of all selected work has been entered by Royal Academians [i.e. Tracey Emin RA].  I am not resentful that these artists have been selected or have achieved their RA status.  The fact is that every artist with an RA after their name got into the exhibition free of charge, and automatically because of their status with the Royal Academy.

This devalues the Summer Exhibition as it becomes a showcase of the Royal Academians and a few lucky regular artists.  As a result this is not a show that represents Britain, but feels more like a self-publicised graduate show for alumni of the RA.

The Summer Exhibition needs to be organised, it needs to be anonymous.  In order to fully represent a range of artists' work from Britain, it needs to not rely on its own stock of artists, because at the moment this is a purely nepotist institution.  How would this work?  Artists, famous, students and amateur alike would be able to apply, pay the same fee and send their works in unsigned, untitled [that could give the game away] and presented unnamed.  A panel could judge all the works equally based on merit of the works, the technique, the materials and the concept.  We would then have a show that represented current art regardless of status.



A selection of my favourite pieces from the show:

[Please note with some artists I could not find the exact artwork as seen in the show, but have included below a similar piece by the artist as an example]


256 Colours 8Bit, by Ekkehard Altenburger


5 Colour Painting 3, by Nigel O'Neill


Open Block, by David Nash


It's All For You, by Claire Brewster


Tess Jaray


St. Kilda from Flannan Isles, Norman Ackroyd


Fumaroles, Iceland, Emma Stibbons


Gormire, by Jason Hicklin



The Parting, by Jane Harris


Maelstrom IV, by Marianne Ferm




Snowdonia, by Andrew George



Shard PM, by Lucy Bainbridge


Home of the Gentry, by Stephen Chambers



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The painting here of miney ou have shown is not actually in this years
summer exhibition ! Nigel O'Neill