Gillian Wearing RA, Lilly Cole, C-type photograph, 61x51cm.

Nigel Rolfe, Dust In Face/Dust Breeding, 2008/2009, Photographic Giclee Print On Coated Archival Somerset paper, 920mm x 920mm Courtesy of the Artist.

241 Years of the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition in 2009

Royal Academy of Arts
Burlington House
020 7300 8000
Main Galleries
Summer Exhibition 2009
June 8-August 16, 2009

Now in its 241st year, the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition 2009 continues a tradition of displaying a wide range of new work by both established and unknown artists in all media including painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture and architecture. This year’s co-ordinators, Royal Academicians Ann Christopher, Eileen Cooper and Will Alsop will select works for the exhibition around the theme of Making Space. Since the founding of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1768, the annual Summer Exhibition has become the world’s largest open-submission contemporary art exhibition.

The Summer Exhibition attracts a high volume of entrants each year with around 10,000 works submitted in 2008. The majority of selected works will be on sale, offering visitors an unrivalled opportunity to purchase original artwork by high profile and up-and-coming artists. Tracey Emin, Lucian Freud, Julian Opie and Gavin Turk were amongst those who exhibited in last year’s show.


Highlights of this year’s exhibition will include a gallery of film curated by Richard Wilson RA and Eileen Cooper RA will be overseeing the ever popular Print Room.

Following on from last year’s successful BBC TWO Series Culture Show special on the Summer Exhibition, the Royal Academy of Arts is delighted to be working with the BBC once more.

There will be a memorial display dedicated to the late Jean Cooke RA, elected an Academician in 1965 she was a regular contributor to the Summer Exhibition.

Each year, the Summer Exhibition recognises artists of exceptional merit, awarding a total of £70,000 prize money donated by commercial sponsors.

Established in 1978, the Royal Academy of Arts Charles Wollaston Award is, at £25,000, one of the largest and most prestigious art prizes in Britain. Previous winners include Jeff Koons (2008), Gavin Turk (2007), Jake and Dinos Chapman (2003), Alan Charlton (2002), Marc Quinn (2001), Gerard Hemsworth (2000), David Hockney (1999), John Hoyland (1998) and R. B. Kitaj (1997).

The Selection Committee for 2009 includes Royal Academicians. The President of the Royal Academy of Arts, Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, will chair the Committee.

Cy Twombly, 1928, The Rose (III), 2008, Acrylic on plywood, 99 3/16 X 291 5/16", © Cy Twombly. Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery and Eli and Edythe L. Broad Collection, Los Angeles.

Danny Rolph, Gladstone, 2009, Mixed media on Tripplewall, Courtesy of the Artist and AR/Contemporary, Milan.


Damien Hirst, Saint Bartholomew, Exquisite Pain, 2007, Silver, 2500 x 1100 x 950mm, AP 1 (edition of 3), © Damien Hirst, Photography by Prudence Cuming Associates.