Which way? 2017 Royal College of Art Graduation Shows by Edward Lucie-Smith

This year, the great graduation exhibition of fine arts students at the Royal College of Art is both inspiring and at the same time a little depressing.

Let’s start with the right track. RCA offers a new generation of painters – many of whom are worth at least a second look. Most of the paintings on display would hold up well, for example, at the Royal Academy’s summer exhibition – better, in fact, than much of what you actually see there, some of his works by artists very well. established international reputation, RA and RA fees

There is something very British about the show – ELS

It’s telling that a lot of the good things are painting, as opposed to three-dimensional work. There is, in fact, very little that you could qualify as sculpture, rather than choosing this rather indeterminate category of “installation”. One exception is a life-size version of Michelangelo’s David, by Fraser & Romero, which looks like melting ice cream. This, says a note, was put together using three-dimensional imagery, based on various photographs found on the web. There is also a swarm of rather cute stuffed animals nearby, made by an artist named Yuko Obe – judging by her name, Japanese. To be honest, I much preferred his very decorative prints.

Michelangelo’s David, by Fraser & Romero

The best paintings are invariably abstract or semi-abstract, confident and freely painted. This is the case, for example, with the work of the great winner of the show, Jadé Fadojutimi. Yes, if I had been on the jury, I most likely would have chosen her too. But it would have been a close affair with a number of other deserving artists: Asger Harbou, Salman Alnajem, Feline Minne, Christina Mamakov, Tal Regev, Daniel Pettitt, as their names suggest they are probably a fairly international group. , symbolic of how London has become the very center of the contemporary art world, more completely than New York, Paris or Berlin, which all have their international contingents.

cute plush toys, made by an artist called Yuko Obe

Cute plush toys, made by Yuko Obe

Which is very little, in fact, to be precise, almost nothing distant, the sort of thing that various Turner Prize biennials and exhibitions have been busy stuffing our throats with in recent years. There’s not a lot of ownership – just the duff version of Michelangelo already mentioned – and no political demagoguery. To mix up the metaphors, this kind of demagoguery, on the other hand, seems to have been the bread and butter of the major international fairs organized in Venice and Cassel this year.

On the other hand, there is nothing that can be qualified as radically avant-garde either, in the old sense of the term now often misused. There is nothing to change, even a little, the way we look at the world.

Jade Fadojutimi

Jade Fadojutimi

In fact, there is a curious paradox here. Although the artists seem to be mostly international, drawn to London from all over the world to work and study, at what has been voted “the best art school in the world” there is something very British about the show. . The more we look at these fluidly painted abstractions and semi-abstractions, the more we see that they are apparently rooted in the romantic relationship to nature which has, certainly since the end of the 18th century, been one of the fundamental themes of our school. national of art.

Other notable alumni: Abi Huxtable • Alouette Hill • Anya Charikov-Mickleburgh • Bernadette Kerrigan • Bob Eikelboom • Dana Venezia • Daniel Pettitt • Daria Gitmanovich • Deme Georghiou • Egle Jauncems • Eleanor Barreau • Elizabeth Drury • Féline Minne • Goia Jae Mujalli • Kim • Lau Hiu Tung • Hsuan-Han Wu • Jake the dog • Jadé Fadojutimi • James Collins • Jinhee Park • Joe Mackay • Leila Hesabi • Machteld Solinger • Magda Skupinska • Matthew Hilvers • Matthew Pang • Mona Osman • Munish Wadhia • Nataliya Chernakova • Neena Percy • Salman Alnajem • Seeun Kim • Seungjo Jeong • Sif Nørskov • Sin Park • Sofia Caselli • Tal Regev • Tamu Nkiwane • Tom Hume • Vanessa da Silva • Victor Payares • Yi Jie Shen • Yun-Ling Chen • Adam Glibbery • Aga Beaupré • Anna Skladmann • Baptiste Gratzmuller • Aki Pao-Chen Chiu • Alexander Glass • Alex Culshaw • Alice Jacobs • Alla Malova • archie • Benji Jeffrey • Borbala Szanto • Camila Botero • Christofer Wallentin • Chung Hyon Kim • Cira Huwald • Cl ar Makhlouf Carter • Colin Lindsay • Dahhyun Im • David Stearn • Fritz Faust • Guendalina Cerruti • Guido Lanteri Laura • Hyun Kim • Isobel Smith • Jack Catling • Jakob Rowlinson • Jinjoon Lee • Joel Chan • Jongwon Yoon • Jungyoon Hyen • Katie McGurk • Kristina Horne • Kyungmin Sophia Son • Li Li Ren • Lindsey Mendick • Lisa Porter • Lito Kattou • Luana Duvoisin Zanchi • Macarena Rojas Osterling • Marco Miehling • Matthew J. Robertson • Milo Creese • Muneyoshi Hase • Nora Silva • Ollie Dook • Otto • Paloma Proudfoot • Paula Smolarska • Rebecca Moss • Rhine Bernardino • Ronya Yang • Rosie Reed • Rudolf Romero • Sam Carvosso • Seo Hyun Park • Tae Eun Ahn • Thomas van Linge • Victoria Kaldan • Will Thompson • Yibei Zhang • Youmee Hwang • Ben McDonnell • Clare Baybutt • David Infante • Dominic Till • Eileen Anderson • Eliška Stejskalová • Eman Ali • Emma Bäcklund • Erasmo Wong Seoane • Erola Arcalís • Iris Brember • Schinster • Jana Lohde • Jo Longhurst • Joshua Leon • Joshua Phillips • Kerimcan Goren • Lisa Carletta • Louise Long • Mark Sedge • Matt Taylor • Melissa Magnuson • Miyoung Kim • Nemo Nonnenmacher • Nikola Zelmanovic • Norma-Louise Thallon • Po Cheng Liao • Ramona Güntert • Ruth Bridget Brennan • Sarah Howe • Sara Kim • Sean Raggett • Theo Ellison • Vanessa Silvestre Paulo • Victoria Fornieles • Ahaad Alamoudi • Alexa C. Thomson • Amy Cornfield • Astrid de Broqueville • Bianca Barandun • Carol Wilhide Justin • Daisy Billowes • Eugenia Popesco • Fran Gordon • George Yarker • Heidi Maribut • Holly Drewett • James Jessiman • Ji Yue Deng • Jo Verbena • Julia Marco Campmany • Karl-Peter Penke • Kilolo Ross • Kim Robertson • Leonie Lachlan • Lewk Wilmshurst • Liz Wilson • Maite Cascón • Marine Lefebvre • Myka Baum • Natalia Skobeeva • Nicolai Freberg • Ruei-Yi Fang • Samuel Taylor • Shigetoshi Furutani • Vicky Samuel • Victoria Sin • Victoria Zanconato • Yuko Obe • Yun Cheng • Zilin Lin • Christopher Tym • Yao Cong • Duncan Lawford • Gerald Curtis • Guildor ( Gui do Tarricone) • Jade Blackstock • Jazbo von Magius Gross • Luca Bosani • Mark Langston • Nadja Voorham • Qian Ma • Rhea Storr • Shashank Peshawaria • Tamara Kametani • Whiskey Chow (Xiaoxuan Zhou)

Words: Edward Lucie-Smith Photos Paul Carter Robinson and Edward Lucie-Smith Photo above: Paintings by Asger Harbou Gjerdevik

RCA Graduate Shows June 24, 2017 to July 2, 2017 | Open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. every day. Closed to the public on June 30

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