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Royal Academy of Arts

  • Art
  • Piccadilly
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. Royal Academy of Arts ( John Bodkin)
    John Bodkin
  2. Royal Academy of Arts
  3. Royal Academy of Arts ( Jonathan Perugia / Time Out)
    Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
  4. Royal Academy of Arts (Jonathan Perugia / Time Out)
    Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
  5. Royal Academy of Arts (John Bodkin)
    John Bodkin
  6. Royal Academy of Arts (Jonathan Perugia / Time Out)
    Jonathan Perugia / Time Out

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

For 250 years, Britain’s first art school has been a hotbed of artistic talent. You name ’em, they were an Academician. But the RA’s also got serious pedigree when it comes to putting on big shows, like 2016’s totally incredible ‘Abstract Expressionism’ show and 2022’s magnificent Francis Bacon retrospective. These days that RA also has been extended and has a sizeable free permanent collection display. This place is just as important as it’s ever been.

Written by
Time Out editors


Burlington House, Piccadilly
Tube: Piccadilly Circus
Some exhibitions free, ticketed exhibitions vary
Opening hours:
Mon-Thu, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm; Fri 10am-9pm
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What’s on

Marina Abramović review

  • 4 out of 5 stars

For Marina Abramović, the simple act of existence can be art. Just look at her now-iconic piece ‘The Artist Is Present’, performed at MOMA in 2010, where visitors were able to sit at a table in front of the Serbian performance pioneer in silence for as long as they wanted. All she had to do was sit there and stare back, exist, and it was enough to move hundreds of people to tears, to feel like they had formed some kind of spiritual connection. Those visitors’ faces greet you like the world’s worst Zoom meeting as you walk into this long-delayed retrospective at the RA. There are stars of music, film and art (Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Klaus Biesenbach) and everyday schlubs like us too. Marina sits impassive, unmoving, but these mere mortals quiver and weep. They try to match her energy but they fail and collapse. Except Lou Reed who looks like he might already be dead. And that’s Marina. For decades she has put her body on the line to make big, bold, sweeping, direct art about nothing less than life, death, sex and love. She is totally, utterly committed to the art – that’s why it works, even when it gets a bit silly. It’s so intrusive that it’s almost stomach turning A table is laid out here with knives and saws, whips and chains, objects of ecstasy and torture. All around are videos of the performance in 1974 they were originally laid out for, ‘Rhythm 0’, where Abramović stood still for eight hours and invited the public to do what they wanted. And they did. They stripped her

‘Impressionists on Paper: Degas to Toulouse-Lautrec’

  • 4 out of 5 stars

Eventually we’re going to have to stop doing this. At some point, we’ll all realise that there’s just nothing left to say about impressionism and we’ll stop trying to reframe this one tiny window of art history in a million different ways just to sell more tickets to ‘Gardeners’ Question Time’ listeners from Surrey. But today is not that day, because the RA is looking at how that revolutionary group from nineteenth century France used paper. Unnecessary? Hugely. But, begrudgingly, quite good, because this show is full of intimate, small-scale beauties. Traditionally, drawing on paper was saved for preparatory sketches or learning and lessons, but the impressionists rejected tradition. They elevated the humble drawing, seeing paper on a par with canvas. It had its benefits too. Paper was cheap and light, so were pastels and gouaches and charcoal, they could be transported easily, used quickly. Italian artist Giuseppe de Nittis captures a feverish snapshot of two women in carriage, Edgar Degas sketches a wriggling hyperactive toddler, Manet freezes the traffic of a wet Parisian street in juddering grey ink wash. Paper was fast, immediate, spontaneous; the polar opposite of studied, overworked Academic perfection. Degas’ works on paper are jaw dropping, perfect things The big names of impressionism are well represented (Monet, Renoir, Morisot, Cezanne) but only one of them stands out as a genuine devotee and master of the medium. Degas’ works on paper are jaw dropping, perfect t

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