The Summer Exhibition is set to be bigger and better than ever this year as the Royal Academy of Arts celebrates 255 years of the annual art show.
British artist and Royal Academician David Remfry will co-ordinate the 255th Summer Exhibition in 2023. The Summer Exhibition Committee members will be Royal Academicians Peter Barber, Eileen Cooper, Bill Jacklin, Katherine Jones, Tim Shaw and Clare Woods. The Committee will be chaired by the President of the Royal Academy, Rebecca Salter.
For the Summer Exhibition 2023, David Remfry RA will explore the theme ‘Only Connect’, inspired by a quote from the novel Howards End by E. M. Forster: “Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its highest. Live in fragments no longer.”
Remfry said: “‘Only Connect’ can be as simple or as complex as you like – as simple as putting a plug into a socket, as meeting a friend for a coffee or the fabric of the entire cosmos. In Howards End, E. M. Forster’s 1910 novel, the phrase ‘Only Connect’ meant a connection between the spiritual and the quotidian; I use it to mean a connection between oneself and everything else. Almost 100 years later in 2005, Zadie Smith wrote On Beauty, a brilliant and moving contemporary retelling of the story. Both novels have wise central characters with humane views of their respective dysfunctional and often unfair societies, and both take the view that human empathy and connection is the only solution. American singer Nina Simone said, ‘You can’t help it. An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.’”