The Painter RAs - Dennis Toff

This book describes itself as 'A guide to the painter members of the Royal Academy of Arts with examples of their work'. That's pretty much it! We went along to the RA Summer Exhibition, and were a little disappointed. We're wondering if the credit crunch is really biting, as this year it felt like a lot more RAs were putting in as much as they could, trying to sell their wares at the expense of wallspace for non-RAs. Perhaps this is what happens if you go for a few years in a row, but there was an awful lot of repetition, and less in the way of fantastic surprises from unexpected quarters (althoug there were some unpleasant surprises - what Tracy Emin can get away with is still irritating :p ).

Having seen so much RA work from those really trying to sell their stuff, it seemed strangely tempting to get this book, which shows all the painters (more or less - some didn't seem to want to take part, but only a few). And it's quite good.

Hmmm. Perhaps I'm a little unfair on the exhibition. There were some pretty good bits. I love Gormley's Quantum Void VI, 2009 (albeit somewhat overpriced) and Mick Moon's Tree Line (which made the front cover of the catalogue). Caroline loved Bryan Kneale's Gemini, Dido Crosby's Raven and much of the architecture (she seems to appreciate the 3d side). It was also very odd to see Gothic Temple at Stowe, where we went on our honeymoon, feature in one of the photos - Liane Lang's Taking Liberties, we think.

Posted 2009-07-21.