For the first time in the history of the Royal Academy of Arts, 100 Royal Academicians have joined forces to produce a historic portfolio, Varnishing Day: A Moment in Time, which includes new artwork from artists and architects such as Chantal Joffe RA, Grayson Perry RA, Fiona Rae RA, Stephen Cox RA, Wolfgang Tillmans RA, Antony Gormley RA, Farshid Moussavi RA, Olywn Bowey RA, Alan Stanton RA, Anish Kapoor RA, Richard Long RA, Ed Ruscha RA and Michael Craig Martin RA.
With the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, for the first time in 252 years, this years’ Summer Exhibition was postponed. As a result, Varnishing Day, which was due to take place on 1 June 2020, was also postponed. This is the day when Royal Academicians celebrate the start of the Summer Exhibition and traditionally put the finishing touches to their works.
As a means of bringing together their fellow artists and architects, Royal Academicians Hughie O’Donoghue and David Mach, with the assistance of Ian Ritchie, conceived the idea of a portfolio that captured each artist’s thoughts and experiences during this unprecedented time. As Varnishing Day did not take place, Royal Academicians were invited to create a piece of work on 1 June instead for the portfolio. Varnishing Day: A Moment in Time represents a taking of the temperature of British art at a crucial time, documenting what the RAs were doing, thinking and making on 1 June 2020.
Brought together in a beautifully designed portfolio by award-winning book production house Hurtwood, this is a unique collection of unseen work by some of the most illustrious artists and architects.
Varnishing Day: A Moment in Time is available to purchase by Friends of the RA.
David Mach RA said:
“We’re good at ‘Unique‘ at the RA. We’re not like other institutions. Artist led, we make up our own minds and we do our own thing. This time, unique again, 100 of us have put together a portfolio of work celebrating Varnishing Day. Covid-19 tried to stop that day, but not a chance, we battled on and now with this beautiful collection Francis Atterbury at Hurtwood has published we acknowledge our Friends and thank them for being there for us.”
The RA have introduced a Friends Membership Portfolio Package, enabling people who wish to support the institution the opportunity to become a Friend and with it receive their own Varnishing Day: A Moment in Time portfolio.
Price: The portfolio is available exclusively to Friends of the RA at the price of £267. Buy HERE
About the Varnishing Day: A Moment in Time portfolio
Containing 100 digital reproduction prints; Printed on Mohawk Superfine Ultrawhite Eggshell 216gsm; Published by Hurtwood and the RA; Printed in the UK by Pureprint
About Varnishing Day:
Historically, artists would visit the galleries to add final touches to their work in situ. Today, Varnishing Day remains a part of the tradition of the Summer Exhibition where artists and architects gather to view their works hanging in the Royal Academy galleries.
Since 1972, Hurtwood has been working with artists, galleries, museums and collectors to create amazing and beautiful books. Decades of experience defined by the melding of new and old technology with high standards and a relentless focus on the client and a high-quality end product. We specialise in producing innovative, beautiful and award-winning printed work.
We devise and choreograph a production process bespoke to the project. We recruit the very best designers, writers, photographers, printers, binders, paper merchants and more. Hurtwood is trusted to keep them all working hard at what they do best; not treading on each other’s toes or tripping up the process.
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