Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day (cleanskies) wrote,
Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

Late summer holiday continues apace. An extra visit was required for the slightly saddening, slightly maddening* Joseph Cornell exhibition at the RA because the Summer Exhibition, even without consideration of the Humument in its entirety is too exhausting to allow for anything else the same day.

There was a weird buzz about going to an exhibition where almost everything is for sale (prices from under a hundred to the low millions) - the kids especially were madly window shopping, "can we take this home"? The chairs I only know the prices because a lady who was either rich or faking it like a boss went and asked at the desk - ask at desk is code for "substantial investment". There was plenty of the weird and horrible on display, including a creepy porno/soldier theme which saw pornish women justaposed against men exploring the horrors of war and/or depicting the weight and complexity of modern soldiergarb so repeatedly it had gone through theme and tired trope and emerged deep in the fields of creepy insistence. The presence of so many different genres, mediums and even sizes - architecture, sculpture, collage, tapestry, installation, painting, printing, clothes woven from the artists' own hair, etc. - was bewildering. You had to have a strategy. And so it was that timscience and I strode round each gallery in semi-opposite directions picking favourites.

I drew a scribble in my catalogue next to everything I liked - Tim seemed to be using his memory. We didn't agree about everything but there were some clear winners, mostly already sold.

Fancy a wander? The whole thing is online, and here are my picks, plus one Tim wanted to buy (it was sold out), minus a couple I didn't care for in the cold light of the following week, and with duplicates (two by the same artist) stripped out. Highlights include a neon football stadium, twenty-six geese, a couple of nice vases of flowers, various cats and what appears to be a tribute to Bananarama/80s fashion magazines. Go the RA.

*Although I do love Cornell I find him relentlessly melancholic, and all the little boxes look like places I end up trapped in in anxiety dreams.

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