Royal Academy Summer Exhibition – 2 October 2021 – 2/10/2021 – BBC Two

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition returns to an autumn slot for a second year as the ramifications of the pandemic continue to play out.

Kirsty Wark and Brenda Emmanus go behind the scenes at the London arts institution to find out which aspiring artists will make it on to the walls this year. The 2021 edition is the vision of celebrated British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare, whose bold ambition to reclaim magic permeates every choice in this monumental show.

Kirsty meets Cathie Pilkington, the new Keeper of the Royal Academy Schools, to learn about the plans afoot for the country’s most prestigious art college, while Brenda investigates an intriguing act of censorship from the 1770s in the early days of the RA.

The programme culminates with the Royal Academy’s legendary Summer Exhibition Preview Party, with an exclusive musical performance from rising superstar Joy Crookes. Featuring work by major artists including Gary Hume, Angela de la Cruz, Grayson Perry and Tracey Emin, this is the story of the country’s favourite exhibition.

About Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

Coverage of the Royal Academy’s annual artistic extravaganza.


This show is broadcast on BBC Two, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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