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The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2011: A Culture Show Special

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Hello and welcome to this special edition of The Culture Show, coming


to you from the Royal Academy of Arts in London to mark the 243rd


On the show tonight, we are behind the scenes as the latest exhibition


comes together. I go to New York to meet Jeff Koons. This is rubber.


it is aluminium. He is sculpture now dominate the Royal Academy's


courtyard. Nancy Durrant explores a room based on the old idea of the


frame to frame salon hang. I cast a critical eye over gallery made up


of work only by Royal academics, among them some of the most famous


names in British art today. And Tom Dyckhoff chats to Piers Gough about


the star exhibits in the architecture room. Look what


happens behind your house, things go bananas. Also, I will be


following the fortunes of five artists, including my mum. She


submitted work to this exhibition, the largest and longest running


submission art show in the world. Jana Street-Porter and philip will


be revealing what they think of the exhibition this year. And we will


be announcing the winner of the 25,000 pound Wollaston Award for


the most distinguished work on display.


Every year, more than 150,000 people come to the Royal Academy to


visit the Summer Exhibition. And that is an enormous number, and


proves quite how popular this extraordinary show is, where work


by amateurs can hang side by side with pieces by some of the world's


most famous artists. But as a show it's quite unlike any other, so


here's a little guide from me to The Summer Exhibition has played a


key role in the British social calendar ever since the Royal


Academy of Arts was established in 1768. Every year its opening party


attracts the great, the good and the glitterati. But behind the


glamour the event is steeped in ritual and tradition. I've put


together a few facts and figures to show how this famous exhibition


comes together year after year after year. The main reason why the


Summer Exhibition causes so much excitement is because it's the


biggest open art exhibition in the world. And the idea is that anyone


can submit up to two works of art and, if they're accepted, they'll


be shown in the longest established gallery in the UK opening up a


whole new world of opportunity for This is Meeting King Neptune While


All At Sea. A reject for 2009. Giving it another go. How many


times have we submitted before? Probably about 10. One of this


year's artistic hopefuls is someone very close to my heart. This is a


picture of Alastair aged about eight years old. A my mum is a keen


amateur painter but this is her first attempt to get into the


summer exhibition. These are the two paintings I have decided to


submit. I have let rip and really just had a ball doing it because,


as you can see, I love colour. I would be thrilled to get in. If


somebody says "yes, you can be hanging on the wall in the Royal


Academy" it will be fantastic. have been doing some research into


my mother's chances of getting in, and the news is not great. Over


11,000 people have submitted work for this year's exhibition. That is


what that represents. 1200 works by 650 artists end up on display, but


of these some are by famous artists invited to take part, and over a


third are by Academy members. The rest come from public submissions,


but less than 200 of these artists will be showing for the first time.


Frankly, the figures don't really work in my mother's favour. The


judging of the public's work is carried out by a group of eminent


members of the Academy. They make sure the Summer Exhibition judging


occurs in exactly the same way as it has come for nearly 250 years.


think it is basically Bovril with some sherry in it. It sounds


disgusting, but in cold conditions it warms you up a bit. The rituals


of the selection process are the same every year. Works are rested


on this ancient stool and pictures are marked with an X, meaning


they've been rejected, or a D, meaning they'll go on to be


Artists don't have to give their real names when submitting. In 1947,


a painter called David Winter had two pictures accepted. Winter


turned out to be Winston Churchill. Like many good old-fashioned


British establishments, you get voted into the club by other


members. And at any one time there are meant to be 80 academicians and


all of them have to be under 75. New members are voted in once old


members reach 75, or if an No, I don't know who died to make


space for me. I suspect he moved on and got older. I say he because


there are a disproportionate number of men. Grayson Perry has just been


elected. I think there are obligations, obviously to uphold


the honour of artists, but I don't think artists necessarily have much


honour to uphold. I look far -- for what to joining in the running of


the Royal Academy. Many visitors to the Royal Academy may not realise


their entrance fee support not just an art gallery but an art school as


well. Students at the Royal Academy Schools can do a three-year


postgraduate fine art course without paying any tuition fees.


But how is such generosity possible? Partly because of the


Summer Exhibition, one of the ways the Royal Academy makes its money.


It cost �25 to enter work and there are usually around 11,000


submissions, that is already around a quarter of a million pounds in


the bank. Revenue is also created by tickets, and work in the show is


up for sale with the Royal Academy taking a 30% cut. Surprisingly, the


Royal Academy receives no public funding whatsoever, but there is a


secret to its financial survival, which is the rent on Burlington


House only cost them �1 a year, thanks to a lease agreement that


was sagely negotiated in 1868 to last for 999 years. The arrangement


has given the Royal Academy the freedom to stick to its own


traditions and rituals, particularly around the Summer


Exhibition. It's not every gallery that invites its artists to parade


down the street before the show, but its love of the old fashioned


has sometimes felt out of step with the times. Most famously just after


the war, when the President of the Royal Academy used the after dinner


speech to attack Modern Art. I find myself a president of the body of


men who feel that there is something in this so-called modern


art. If you paint a tree, for Lord's sake, try and paint it!


Royal Academy has been accused of occasionally taking refuge from


radical new ideas and being out of touch, but more recently it has


made a strong effort to shed that image. People love the summer show.


It is still going every year for almost two-and-a-half centuries,


despite everything. One of the reasons it has surprised his


because it keeps a dream alive for hopeful young artist and a few


years ago one of those hopefuls was me. I submitted this piece. It is a


conceptual sculpture consisting of a jar of red Mantel's. It is a


portrait of my mother about maternity, memory and a tribute to


the ready-mades of Marcel Duchamp. I don't think those complexities


were understood, and even if they did it got rejected. This year it


is my mother chasing the dream of getting into the exhibition. Let's


hope she did better than I did. We will find out later if my mother


has managed to get her paintings into the show, but I have been


joined by two people who have been to lots of exhibitions over the


years - Janet Street-Porter and philip. What do you normally make


for the exhibition? It is normally a bit of a mess, normally quite


chaotic. In the middle of it there are some gems. Over the last few


years they have been trying to make it more serious and engaged.


broadly speaking, a fan? Yes. Qualified. Qualified than. Jan it,


what about you? I am a snob about it. I always come out of good


thinking why did I bother, it is so annoying. At the same time there is


this art show in Venice, the Venice Biennale, and people are more


forgiving. You have this huge show and you have complete rubbish


BRILLIANT work. But when you go around the Royal Academy, I'm


afraid there is good stuff but it is like going to a car boot sale,


you have to pick through to find something rewarding. I am sorry to


put you through this again, but he both kindly agreed to have a look


and we will catch up with the later. Before we go inside, I want to show


you this enormous and very playful joyful stainless steel sculpture


called Coloring Book. It is by the American artist Jeff Koons, and


recently I went to New York to meet him. In the world of contemporary


art, Jeff Koons is a global superstar. His work delights in the


aesthetics of trash culture and it sells for millions. I have always


found Jeff Koons a fascinating artist, partly because it is so


tricky to get a handle on what he does. He is the king of kitsch and


his work makes people feel uneasy because it seems like the epitome


of bad-taste, and yet it sells for so much money. I can never work out


whether it is purely superficial or perhaps offers a searing commentary


on the banality of our world. Nobody ever really knows for sure


and that is what makes his work so interesting. Can I do what you did?


This looks like rubber, is it metal? It is aluminium. There is


something I have always wanted to ask you, because you really use


popular culture so much in your work and I can never work out if


you are celebrating it, or may be satirising it. Which is it? It I am


celebrating it. I enjoy the life, I enjoy the world, and I don't


believe in judgment so it is about acceptance. I work with inflatables


because they are life-saving devices. It is like being in the


water and you have something to hold onto. In the water with this,


you would sink. It is a symbol. are producing objects which most


people would overlook, replacing them in the gallery, but you try to


make banal things. What is the thinking behind it? I am not


trying! I follow my interests, and I think honesty is something people


find shocking. Am always very honest about my interest. One of


his particular interests is the imagery of childhood. His stainless


steel sculpture for the summer exhibition is based on a picture


from a child's colouring book. comes from an image from Winnie the


Pooh so I made my own watercolour drawing on top of it. Is that what


this is? Yes, this is taking the watercolour and the market during,


and then breaking it down into those colours so I can create a


sculpture from it. Childhood dreams are so strong in your work, is that


an important way of looking at the world? Children do not participate


in judgment. They are open to everything. They love colours and


to smell the grass. There is no judgment. There is a sadder side to


his fascination with childhood. Coloring Book is part of a series


of work called Celebration, which he used to reach out to his son


after being taken to Italy following a custody battle with his


My son was taken to a foreign country, I was never able to get


him back. To a distance, this helps me to communicate to my son, how


much I loved him. Can I ask why you are drawn to working in stainless


steel? It is something that has happened again and again through


your career? It reflects you and it needs you. Without you it does not


exist. If you state something that is polished and put it in a dark


room, it disappears. It only reflects its environment. Art is


never in the object, art is inside the viewer. A reflective surface


continues to communicate that. Imagine it will be a very different


experience seeing an 18ft high stainless steel coloured sculpture,


to seeing the drawing, so I'm looking forward to it a lot. Thank


you. Thank you, I enjoyed today. Jeff Koons is one of the biggest


names in contemporary art, yet here he is in a show with a load of


unknowns. That is the charm for me of the Summer Exihibition. I was


allowed into the vaults of the Royal Academy to rifle through the


works sent in by the members of the public, to see if I could spot


anything that may make it on to the walls of the final exhibition.


These are all works of art that have made it through the first


stage of the selection process, but there is no guarantee that they


will be chosen by the curators. I want to have a quick rummage around


and see if I can pull out a few artworks that catch my eye and I


think are good enough to be So let's have a little leaf through.


I think that the judges have 11,000 submissions, they have to look at


them so quickly, to make a snap judgment, in a sense I'm doing it


too slowly. I should be whipping through it. Oh, look at this box.


Now, this I really like. It seems to be a book and the pages are


hollowed out. Inside is a mad, what looks like a 19th century prints of


dogs and people from the tropics, soldiers and old maps. Let's have a


look at the label. The book sculpture is made by Alexander


Korzer-Robinson, an artist from Berlin, based in Bristol. He has


never submitted anything to the Summer Exihibition before. The way


that I work, I cut out images in the books where they are in the


books. I build a composition from the front to the back. I like to


work with Encyclopaedias a lot. You get a variety of different themes


and images that are really un- related other than by their place


in the alphabet, really. So there is a lot of potential to develop a


narrative. I think that this has got a great deal of imagination. It


is different. So, for that reason, I'm going to go with it. I think


that this will make it into the final show. This piece is very


different to what has come before, but when you say Royal Academy


royal -- Royal Academy Summer Exihibition, it conjures up, in


many people's minds, I suspect, something painted like this. It is


very well painted. It is possibly a little bit old-fashioned, but I


think there is a deaf place for it, so I will hedge my bets and say


this is a contender. The painter of The Greenhouse is by David Newens.


He has submitted every year since the mid-1980s and so far has been


selected six times. I have painted greenhouse interiors several times


before. I do like the relationship between almost an abstract


structure against the flowers. I'm not a flower painter. I don't just


paint a bunch of flowers, but the colour harm onis that you get of


the various plants in a greenhouse, off-set against a strong structure,


provides to me a very nice subject. Now this... This piece is so weird!


Check this out. It's a painting. I should not be touching the frame.


The paint has continued on to the frame by someone called PJ Crook


called "The Infant". I describe the style as naive. PJ Crook has shown


15 times at the Summer Exihibition, "The Infant" is one of two painting


she has submitted for consideration this year. There is something


obviously -- obvious about the idea of a naked new-born riding on a


tiger. It feels like Blake. A visionary piece of another world.


It is odd, I quite like the oddness. So I think I'll pick this one.


feels evocative to me of the situation we are in now, where the


tiger is an endangered species and our environment is in danger too. I


like the idea that the infant and the tiger in it are in harmony. So


rather like man and his environment should be, they are working


together and the angels there as a guiding presence. That's quite hard


to read this, initially. It seems quite gloomy. It looks like, I


guess a big glass skyscraper and there, that seems to be graffiti? I


guess the thing that caught my eye here is all of this mark-making all


over the place. Let's have a look at the label. What is it? Wow!


Medium Photography. What?! That's amazing. I thought that this was a


painting. I quite like this. Let's hang on to it. The picture is by


Isidro Ramirez, a Spanish photographer living in London. This


is the first time he has tried to get into the Summer Exihibition.


There are four photographs of the same building, photographing the


four corners of the building and then putting them together through


a digital process. It creates a very glostly image at the end. That


does not correspondent to anything. It is a creation. The work is about


the limitations of photography, what it has to represent a place.


In this case a building. Now I'm not saying that those four works


are necessarily the greatest pieces of art ever made, but I do think


that they deserve a place in the Summer Exihibition. They caught my


eye, you have to follow your instinct. They had a certain


strangeness. The sad thing is that I have no say in the process


whatsoever. It is the curators that have the final decision about all


of the works in the Summer Exihibition, but I will be keeping


my fingers firmly crossed. I'll let you know if my choices turned out


to be good ones, but I want to show you this, far and away, the biggest


gallery in the show. As you can see, it's been hung in a busy American.


An attempt to refer back to the history of the Summer Exihibition.


Nancy Durrant was here when the room was put together. The Summer


Exihibition has never looked quite like any other show. Right from the


start, back in 1769, the RA crammed its walls what paintings hung from


floor-to-ceiling in a style known as the Salon Hang. A visit to this


show was very different to our experience of galleries now. We are


used to a cool, calm, light, open space with a great deal of thought


put into how best it hang a work. The Summer Exihibition, on the


other hand was mayhem! So, tell me about the Salon Hang, how did it


work? Well, as this print shows, you stacked them high, racked them


deep, essentially, frame-to-frame, literally touching each other.


There is not an inch of space? is what they were trying to achieve.


In recent years, when the smaller paintings have packed the walls,


the larger gallery spaces were hung more sparsely, however, that is not


what academician, Christopher Le Brun, is planning for this year.


It's not working. Let's put them up on the rack. He is responsible for


the biggest gallery in the show. He decided to revisit the idea of the


Salon Hang. A lot of the strategy of contemporary art is to control


the responses of the vier. So you go into the whilst gallery, there


is a single painting. You appreciate it, it is wonderful, but


you are controlled as to how you see it, what is said. When you come


into a gallery with 500 paintings in it, you cannot control the


response of the spectator. So, it is a very, very different notion.


It is very anarchic and exciting. Is there anybody to be a bit


disconcerted by where their picture ends up? It is difficult to please


everybody. Year after year as we come in, you never know how your


colleagues feel about where their work is. The problem is that there


are many different languages going on at the same time. It could be


tote chaos, a sort of Babel, really confusing. To make sense of the


chaos, Christopher Le Brun is hanging the framed and unframed


works on different walls. There is a sort of logic to it. The framed


paintings coming down here, more figure rative, smaller scale of


touch and handling, narrative, moving through, coming round to get


a more, a sort of more questioning sense of space and a freer sense of


comma. Although inspired by the traditional Salon Hang, he has not


followed the old rules to the letter. There is more wall space


visible in the gallery than would have been the case in the 18th and


the 19th centuries. This is a scaled representation of the 1851


exhibition. And the pictures are hung floor-to-ceiling frame-to-


frame? Yes, here is the prime position given to 551. That work


down there, 561 is a work by mill away -- Millais. Why so low? Maybe


the Academy were making a point?! Really? There used to anybody the


traditional hanging such a thing as "skying" that was a snub, but there


are these Irvine up at the top, but they work out? The reason it was a


snub, you could not see them, but with Christopher Le Brun, you can


see that right from the other side of the room. It still works. Were


you ever tempted to do the real, kind of proper, squeezed in Salon


Hang? It was partly my idea to do that, but in fact, you have to be


flexible. It is no good coming in with a tough idea and shoe horning


everything into it. We are just watching and adapting as we go.


It's kind of like a jigsaw, suspect it? Jigsaw, meets Sudoku, meets 3-


dimensional chess! Now, this room through here is one of the smaller


galleries in the show. It is the Architect's Room. It is packed full


of the surprisingly beautiful and intricate models and drawings. Tom


Dyckhoff went to have a look at it as it was installed. It is strange


to come to thekm architect's Room in the Summer Exihibition, but what


draws me here is that you are guaranteeed to find surprises


inside. I'm expecting a wealth of surprises this year. As Piers Gough,


the flamboyant architect is in charge. Maybe the playful one? Yeah,


that thing. Piers Gough is famous for his colourful, bold buildings


and has stated that his mission is to combat dreariness. This room


reflects that, a rye ot of colour, texture and ideas. Oh, kpwre!


Before putting his final touches to the room, he has agreed to show me


some of the highlights from the show. The most important structure


at the moment, with the Olympics coming up is King's Cross and what


to do with it. What happens under the ground at King's Cross is


almost beyond belief. Insane. There is this concourse, and underneath


this calmness, the beautiful swan is this frantic pedalling


underneath of getting the escalators, the routes, down into


the various stueb stations sorted out. This is brilliantly engineered


stuff. By this time next year, this magnificent piece of infrastructure


Then a building that has a tin of mackerel. This is exuberance that


you may not expect from an older generation, but it is so lovely. So


much reflects the feeling of architecture now, that is that you


You can see it is getting behind the facade, peeling the surface.


am so jealous, I really wish I had designed that. It is so beautiful,


the ridge and furrow. Some buildings, you just think I wish I


had Dom R. That is one of them. What is fascinating about this new


generation emerging is that they are so experiment are tiered. We


have this building next to this building, I don't quite know what


it is. Maybe it is a shelter that doesn't! The pavilion? It is coming


towards sculpture and slightly towards a bicycle helmet. One thing


you can't avoid is that the computer is allowing so many


expressive forms to come through in architecture. He can design by


computer for quite a long time, and now you can build it with a


computer. He what about this staircase. Was that built in a


similar way? Isn't it dreamy? Who would have thought the computer


would bring you back to Art Nouveau? Businesses seem to have an


image of toughness, and now they are being used for this insanely


complicated gorgeous stuff. This is being built. It is not just a model,


they have actually constructed it so it is very exciting times where


these forms are made possible again and it is now just up to your brain.


Can you invented? Can you think of it? If you look across the room, it


is such a rich stew. Do you think that causes problems? It is so


complex, a building can almost be anything. Does that present a


problem? What could be more daunting than to be presented with


an architectural establishment that really only does things more or


less one way? And you have got to accept it. That was perhaps the


perception of architecture in the 60s or 70s, now blown apart, but we


are not even fighting amongst ourselves about that. It is just


the nature of the way we are now and I welcome it because it gives


me space to work. I know you have got a lot of work still to do, I


don't want to hold you up any more. There it is, finished, and I think


it looks fantastic. Over here is a room curated by an artist called


Michael Craig-Martin, who is very influential, so I was intrigued to


see what he had done when I came a couple of weeks ago. Michael Craig-


Martin is one of the most important artists working in Britain today,


not just because of his own work but because he was the


inspirational teacher behind a whole generation of young British


artists who studied at Goldsmiths College in the 80s and 90s.


Grego six inches over? A member of the Academy since 2006, he has


decided only to show work by fellow Royal academicians in his room. I


have come to see this room before the exhibition has opened. There is


obviously a piece that will go there, but first impressions...


This feels strong. These are confident works, also recognisable.


This is a Tony Cragg. Richard Deacon. This cloud, which looks


like a metallic swarm of bees, that is by Antony Gormley. In is very


enjoyable curating a show like this because, if you have good toys to


go with, it is nice to go to the playground. Because I want this


room to show off these people, I have encouraged people to show work


that is recognisably theirs, rather than something which is off the


beaten track from what people expect. There will be works which


are signature works. One of the most easily identifiable pieces on


display is a colourful word painting by Michael Grade. I quite


like the fact that, quite unashamedly, he has hung a number


of works next to his painting by artists that he taught. Fiona Rae,


Gary -- Gary Hume... It he rejected me the first time I tried to get


into the college in 2004, then accepted me later but I don't bear


a grudge. This is a reworking of Cezanne's famous painting of


bathers. The original hangs in the National Gallery, where Landy is


currently Artist in Residence. It is literally a copy. But I


didn't draw in front of the painting, I was too embarrassed, I


got a postcard. It is a lovely thing to draw because once you get


into the rhythm of that it is about shapes. Similar to what I would


have done as a child, just copying out of books. And there is a Tracey


-- Tracey Emin up here. I wonder if there was a risk of so many


powerful and familiar pieces creating a slight sense of deja-vu.


It is a little bit expected. These are artists whose work I feel like


I have seen often, often at the Summer Exhibition as well. I think


Michael Craig-Martin was going for an artist's brand, signature style,


but in a sense I would like something more surprising. I wish


there was more mischief in the room. That said, the one piece I have not


talked about yet if is this. A think it is very beautiful. The


artist who made the peace is Cornelia Parker. It is flattened


sugar bowls made from silver plate. It is like an encyclopaedia of


sugar bowls which have all been gone. They have been squashed by a


metal bending press. I spend most of my time taking things apart, so


I like to use objects found in the world and rejigging them slightly.


I have rocked the volume but given it back through suspension so it is


like a real animation. A one challenge was to create a dialogue


between all the works on display. If you look up here you can see


here's this Tracey Emin neon "I whisper to my past, do I have


another choice?" and the answer is, if you look down below, Michael


Craig-Martin's painting, which says fate with a very closed gate, the


answer is "sorry, love, you don't". It's delicate though, isn't it? The


idea of whispering to your past is sort of what's going on with the


Cornelia Parker piece as well. Maybe I've been a bit unfair, maybe


there is a greater degree of subtlety in the room than I first


Michael Craig-Martin is famous for being a teacher as well as an


artist, and if I were forced to try and grade his homework here, I'd


say he'd done a very good job. It's very solid, a very substantial room


but I wish there'd been a few more unexpected moments. I love art that


has a slightly naughty, anarchic side. There's the odd moment like


that, the David Mach collage really has it I think. The Bill Woodrow


sculpture, which is just a little bit bizarre, has it as well. And I


love those qualities. But this piece is the star of the show for


me. This Cornelia Parker. It strikes a slightly different note


to some of the more bombastic paintings and sculptures elsewhere


in the room that have obvious wall power. This is just a bit more


subtle and for that reason I think this is the piece I'll remember for


the longest. I've come back outside into the sunshine to catch up with


our guests, Philip Hensher and Janet Street-Porter, you've just


been looking round the show. Now I brought with me the list of works


and this year there are almost 1200 pieces in the exhibition. So Philip


why don't you start, how on earth can anyone make sense of this


cacophony of art? It is less cacophonous then it has been in the


past. It focuses around two brilliant rooms. There is a


fantastic room by Michael Craig- Martin which is very authoritative.


There is also a great room of international contributors, with a


Baselitz and Key For. The two German heavyweight painters. Yes,


terrific. That is very positive. John it, you thought it was like a


car boot sale before you went in. still think so. I would agree with


Philip, the best room is without a doubt the one curated by Michael


Craig-Martin. Isn't he a friend of yours? He is, but what is good


about that room is that it has less in it. We start from a position of


going into her room which is calm, ordered, and you agree with the way


it is thinking. It really sings out, and you can only contrast it with


the cacophony of some of the other rooms, where there is the Great


Room, the largest room of all, it has this weird thing where they


decided to hang it like the salon. I thought they would cram things in


up against each other, but what it is they have put on one long wall a


lot of completely abysmal - and I don't mince my words here -


landscapes. It is what I call walking the dog in the Park


paintings. It didn't even seem honk in the 19th century style, I


couldn't see how it deferred. not like the salon hang, it is more


like a miscellaneous village hall hang really. There was something


very controlled and hierarchical about these salon hangs, which


doesn't try to achieve at all. There is also the question that so


much of the painting in that the groom is terrible. It is really,


really terrible. I picked out four or 5 paintings which had any kind


of quality, which is not a high strike rate. Given there are 40


along the wall, it is not great. wrote down here "room five" Which


was hung by Tess Jaray, a really good artist. She has written on her


a note, "this room is hung for people who are sensitive,


intelligent and thoughtful". Nothing like being patronising, and


yet it has the same cacophony as all the other rooms. What was your


stand out peas? Probably Cornelia Parker's work, the diptych with the


Budget box. Not the levitating silver? I like the Budget box


because I loved the diptych, the two images. What it is saying is


that women control everything. Philip, how about you? No question,


the Edmund De Waal ceramics Cabinet. It is 30 pieces of sports learn


with that magical historic White delays. You are so drawn into this,


it is so rich. I could look at it forever. It is a very tranquil


peace, isn't it? Yes, he is a wonderful artist. I loved the


levitating silver Cornelia Parker pieces, but I also enjoyed looking


at the Baselitz painting. The upside-down Helms against this eye-


popping yellow. It is basically the area of my flat, it is so big and


it has a lot of war power. He is incredible, Baselitz. Those are our


favourite artworks but sadly none of them made it on to the judges'


shortlist for the Wollaston Award. It is not as famous as the Turner


Prize, the winner does get the same amount of money, �25,000. Then


Lewis went to look at the shortlisted works and listen in as


The Wollaston Award is given every year to the most distinguished work


in the Summer Exihibition. The judges have identified a short-


list of seven artworks. I've come to take a look at what they have


chosen. First on the list is a sculpture by a well-known


minimalist, Martin Creed. It is four chairs of different sizes,


stacked on top of each other. I can hear you scoff and say this


is not a sculpture, but take a look at it. What makes us look at this


to thing it is art? Well it is tall and totemic. It has an elgant


colour scheme, it looks -- an elgaent colour scheme, it looked


organised. There is precision in the size of each chair, the legs


somehow fit the seat of the chair underneath. That is clever and the


red chair forming a phinth. That is smart. Throw away junk and pop it


on top of each other to get an organised structure? Ten out of ten.


The judges have chosen two works in Michael Craig-Martin's room. One is


by painter, Gary Hume. It looks very cute and in fact it is based


on an image or photograph, perhaps, of a young child or a baby, but,


what Gary Hume has done with this, he has created a cons mate abstract


colour-filled painting in his own style. It is very, very refined. He


has a wonderful sense of line and the colours are gorgeous. Lots of


pastel pinks and blues and browns. It is a surprise for the eye to be


moving around the painting and encountering different, unusual,


splopblgs of colour. In the same room is a sculpture leaning against


the wall, it is by Alison Wilding. It is composed of just three


elements, a foam circle, a copper circle and a small resin sphere.


You can see each of the decisions that the artist has taken here.


Three simple contrasting textures. The best comparison that one can


make is that this is like Italian cooking. That is about few


ingredients but high-quality, you combine them, cook them quickly and


end up with something delicious and fresh. Sitting amongst the three


dimensional pieces in the Student tower Room is a abstract painting


by Frank Bowling. It is like an essay in paint. There are dabs of


green and turquiose and a lovely crimson orange background. Then as


you come down the picture, the painting is cascading like a


waterfall. You get to the bottom, the paint is trier, thicker. It is


plastered on a bit. You could read it as foam or Earth. There you have


it, a landscape made from the textures and the qualities of paint.


Onya McAusland's piece. That slips from its boundaries and on to the


side of it. It is saying something quieter about the nature of


painting and the materials. The effort of this work is not in the


surface, that is three brush strokes, if is in where the


materials come from. The artist goes into mines and other obscure


locations to find substances that she has to treat and process and


then comes up with a wonderful shade of turquiose that is


delivered to us in three brushstrokes on this small and


slight work of art. It's a good trick.


James Hugonin's painting is more complicated to look at. A grid of


tiny multi-coloured boxes. This colour grid is not based on a


random sequence of colours organised by a computer. This is


all painted by the artist, it takes months! His work has meant he has


looked at it close and from far away to create this painting. You


get a feeling of something undulating and glowing and


throbbing in front of us. It is gorgeous, pain-staking, deliberate


work. Last on the list is a painting by Italian artist and


honourary Royal Academician, mim ow -- MimmoPaladino.


What a gorgeous painting. It is remarkable of a place that this


chap can evoke with a few strokes of white paint on a fantastically


bright, lucious, marine background. A good picture, a bit of a tour de


force. So those are my thoughts on the seven artworks shortlisted for


the Wollaston Award, but which will the judge's decide is the most


distinguished? Is they going to go for sploshes, dribbles or the stuff


that is done with masking tape? love the Onya McAusland for the way


that it changes everything so subtley. Yet I think that I would


elevate the Gary Hume or the Alison Wilding above that, each of them I


find powerful and compelling and so of the moment, somehow. 7 Coming


down to two, I think that I would pick Frank Bowling and Alison


Wilding. For me, the Wildfire, this material of foam, gently sagging


against the wall and then caught with this wonderful intervention of


the copper and the globe-like object inserted into it, it does it


for me. It is both discreet, awkward and in a way almost a


little bit annoying in the space and so that one really does stand


out for me and does have that quality of distinction and


distinguishedness about it. Yes. Are we edging towards the


Wilding? To be surprising at a time when art can be anything it is


amazing. If it is surprising, which I thing -- think it is, I would


support that. So, everybody is happy. We have a


final decision and the winner is Alison Wilding's "Take A Deep


Breath." So, this is the winner. I am really


happy about that. This is beautiful. There is a simplicity. It has the


beauty of transparency. You can see all of the decisions that the


artist has made. Lastly, it has the beauty of modesty. It is just


leaning against the wall, saying look at me if you want to, but I'm


not going to dominate the space. Those are all very important things


in art today. That's why I think this is a wonderful piece of


artwork to win the prize. A few days later, I'm off to meet Alison


Wilding in her studio. She thinks that we are here to give an


interview, but I have been allowed to tell her about the competition.


I have some wonderful news for you. Have you? You have won the


Wollaston Award? Really? Are you joking? No! I think this that is


amazing. Congratulations! So, very good news


for Alison Wilding, congratulations to her, but what about my specially


selected art works and my mum who entered the public process. Was it


good news for them? Well, here they all are on the day that they got


PJ Crook and David Newens had both shown oft no-one the past, but will


their paintings be selected this time? Thank you for entering this


year's Summer Exihibition, with over 11,000 entries, the


competition was extremely strong, however I'm delighted to inform you,


that your work, "Greenhouse Interior" has been selected and


hung in the exhibition. "The Infant" and "Revolution" have


been selected and hung in the exhibition.


Great news. Really it is extremely pleasing. I


was already delighted to be chosen by the art critic, Alastair Sooke,


for the Culture Show programme. So this is really an added extra,


brilliant news. I'm really delighted. Especially as they have


exhibited both. Will things go so well for first-


time applicants, Isidro Ramirez and Alexander Korzer-Robinson? Are you


excited? Yes! I'm sorry to inform you that the work was not hung in


the exhibition. However it was short-listed which is a fine


achievement. So, it is not in the exhibition, it's not been selected.


It is natural to be a little bit disappointed, but to be short-


listed is an achievement so I will take the positive and be happy with


it. I'm delighted to inform you that your work, Strictly Come


Dancing It Takes Two has been accepted to the -- that your work


has been accepted into the competition.


Fantastic! There is one artist left to open her letter.


Hello, how are you? Good. Have you been think being this?


Only a little bit. Fleetingly. You do seem nervous? I am a little.


Ready? Thank you for entering this year's Summer Exihibition, with


over 11,000 entries, the competition was very strong. On


this occasion, I'm sorry to inform you that your two works were not


selected for this exhibition. Oh! Oh, well. That's a shame.


That is a shame. I think that they made a mistake. My poor mum! I'm


still feeling so gutted for her. I may be slightly biased, but I


really thing that she deserved to make it through. The reality is


that getting work past the hanging Committee, it can be tough. That


said, I'm chuffed about the artists that I chose, three out of the four


that I chose have made it through and their work is on display.


Over there is the book structure, there is the greenhouse painting


and up there, the two paintings by PJ Crook. If you would like to see


them for yourself, and indeed the rest of the Summer Exihibition it


is open until Monday the 15th of August. The Culture Show is back on


mund with a show all about the Kennedys. Thank you for watching.


Good night. I tend to like the things, I must


admit, that I can recognise what they are. I come about eight times.


You are kidding? I think it is nice that people can come to the Royal


Academy and have works of arts, access to them for a few hundred


dead pounds. It was an impulse buy. There is the dog in the trash can,


it is moving around and all kinds of surprising.


I think it is brilliant. There is something for everybody and


everybody can enter. I am really impressed. I did not expect that.


It is great, everything is so different. An excellent variety of


artwork, some of it expensive, some of it is very cheap.


We bought this, a little owl by Tracey Emin. I tried to buy a piece


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