Time to visit this year's Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. I managed to go to the Friends' Preview, with the main show opening in a few days time.
The Summer Exhibition is the one that mixes well-known artists with selected works from members of the public. The works on show then have a simple number to identify them, like this one below from David Remfry (46. On the trail of the lonesome pine)
I usually look out for works that I like, rather than based upon the artist, although this year it was a bit like walking around one of those malls, with anchor stores at various intervals.
Unmistakably, there were works like a piece by Anselm Kiefer making a tractor beam pulling me from the adjacent gallery (1071 Und du bist maler geworden)
Even on this preview day, the galleries were very busy, including a particular room stuffed to the rafters with mainly public work, but which almost needed elbows to get through.
Of course, this being the RA, no actual elbows were deployed in what was a remarkably polite and well-groomed crowd.
I usually take a few iPhone snaps in this show, as a quick way to remember favourites. It is different from many galleries which would frown upon this behaviour, because part of the objective is to sell many of the works (prices start around £160 and just keep on climbing).
This year, the entrance courtyard's display was rather less dramatic than recent years. I wondered if we'd have an altogether quieter show as a consequence.
Not at all, as I entered the first room I could already smile. There was something reassuring about this year's show. Probably needed in the current climate, although artistic political references seemed to get up to about 'Fake News' and then stop, because of selection cut-off dates.
It's the 249th show, so I am guessing that next year will be rather special. I already plan to be along.