As the years go on I seem to know and recognise the work of an increasing number of artists exhibiting at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, several of whom have featured in previous blog posts.
Kate MccGwire is one such and I was delighted to see that she had won the Jack Goldhill Award for sculpture with Squall, pictured below.
Other pieces which caught my eye included Katie Walker’s Fragile. I’m not sure if she’s the furniture maker but the care and craftsmanship of this piece would indicate that it might be. Can anyone help here? Another prize-winner, of the Charles Wollaston Award, was Mike Nelson with this unnerving piece, Untitled ( Public sculpture for a Redundant Space) a prototype for a series of sculptures made for the High Line in New York. Expanded Narcissistic Envelope by Toby Ziegler was humorously displayed with most people nudging past and practically ignoring it. It moved so easily, swaying gently as it was buffeted by the crowds but is a metal structure with some very sharp angles.
A recent study of oil painting techniques led me to visit Tate Britain for this exhibition of figure painting. I enjoyed the standard greats including Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud
but was more interested in examining the less-famous artists in the last room of the show; these painters were really exciting for their handling of materials.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye creates each painting in just one day according to the information at the show – quite an achievement for the scale of work she can produce. I love the looseness and confidence of her brushwork dealing with the “what” more than the “who”. Celia Paul’s painting is much more heavily worked with compelling intensity.
I have long been an admirer of Paula Rego and was wowed once more by her use of pastels. Look at her treatment of fabric in this piece, particularly the veil.
Jenny Saville specialises in hugely over life-sized representations of the female form in oils. The materiality of her work mesmerises.
Most of my journeys through the City of London are by bike so I’d missed this low-level sculpture outside the prestigious Bloomberg Building, installed in 2017.
Forgotten Streams by Cristina Iglesias reminds us of the rivers of London, most of which are now hidden underground. It marks the Walbrook river which flowed on this site.
The cast bronze looks like layers of compressed branch debris and provides a contemplative spot in one of the most expensive areas of London real estate.