Downstairs the lines of people stretch into the courtyard as they queue for tickets for “Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse”. Upstairs, the walls of which were recently hung with the pastels portraits by Jean-Etienne Liotard, the Sackler Galleries have been taken over by artists who are half-way through their postgraduate programme at the Royal Academy Schools. Premiums – Interim Projects” opens with Ritchie Moment turning the cardboard pizza box on its head. Normally, pizza boxes are used once and thrown away; in contrast, Ritchie has screen-printed 1000 boxes for visitors to take away as unique works of art to keep – pizza companies please take note as an idea for the future!
Inside, Sebastian Jefford has created two sculptures on wheels which cannot move along the tracks which run in a variety of impossible configurations through the galleries, Fani Perali’s screen of opening doors with their delicate images is a set for performers and Joseph Baker-Heaslip has created sculptures from plywood, timber and glass set alongside Sam Austen’s video loops over four screens and Mark Gross’s black and white wallpaper installation, with other video installations in the show by India Mackie. Dmitri Galitzine and Aniko Kuikka.
On the walls are a variety of photographs and paintings, plus a folding screen hung with prints by Jack Burton. Adam Shield’s large work shows two openings into a Spartan room – perhaps a secure cell – where the window is secured with a grille, with the ominous title “Set-up. Joke. Set-up. Joke. Set-up. Joke. Death” and Jonathan Kelly has a mass of images that encourage to viewer to look into the detail beyond the white ghostly figures.
It is good that these and the other artists on display have the opportunity to exhibit in these fine galleries at this stage with work that confirms innovation, creativity and quality at this stage of the postgraduate programme and hints at great things to come.