The Royal Academy presents From Life – a special exhibition project looking to the past, present and future of one of the cornerstones of artistic process – making art from life.
Drawing from casts of Classical and Renaissance sculpture and life models was long considered essential training for any aspiring artist, and was once a staple of the RA Schools, Britain’s longest established fine art school. Now, coinciding with the RA’s 250th anniversary, this special exhibition project takes an inquisitive look at the tradition and its ongoing relationship with artists today.
Beginning with a display of historic paintings and works on paper drawn from the RA Collection, From Life explores the practice of life drawing, from the origins of the Royal Academy in the 18th century to the present day, whilst also looking to the future. Historic paintings by artists such as Johann Zoffany are followed by works in a diverse range of media by contemporary artists, including Jeremy Deller’s Iggy Pop Life Class (2016), Cai Guo-Qiang’s film One Thousand Youngsters Drawing David (2010) and Jenny Saville’s Entry (2004).
From Life examines what making art from life has meant to artists throughout history and how the practice is evolving as technology opens up new ways of creating and visualising artwork.
Free life drawing classes ballot
To coincide with From Life and as part of the 250th anniversary celebrations in 2018, the Royal Academy is offering free life drawing classes for 250 people of all abilities in the historic Life Room in the RA Schools. Each class is for a particular group that has a special relationship with either the RA, drawing, or the human body, from members of the Royal Academy’s outreach programmes to nurses and architects.
The RA is now inviting the public to participate through an open ballot to win 50 places at the following free classes, led by guest tutors who will be revealed on the day.
Enter the ballot at www.roy.ac/FromLife
Royal Academy of Arts
11 December 2017 – 11 March 2018
Image: Iggy Pop Life Class by Jeremy Deller. Organised by the Brooklyn Museum, February 21, 2016. Photo: Elena Olivo, (c) Brooklyn Museum