“Reclaiming Magic” is the motto of this historic exhibition at the summer’s end which, for its 253rd consecutive year, will fill the halls of the Royal Academy of Arts with new works from around the world. From paintings to videos, from prints to photos, even sculpture and architectural projects, for three months, all these expressions of creativity will hold citizenship in Great Britain’s temple of art. All together, there are works from celebrated artists, royal academics and emerging talents. The curator of the 2021 edition is the British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare, known for his potent and colourful installations exploring themes like identity, colonialism and post-colonialism. “Reclaiming Magic seeks to rediscover the more visceral aspects of making art. This time, we’re going beyond the usual points of reference of art history and Western canons upon which the foundations of the Royal Academy rest,” explains Shonibare, announcing the inclusion of works totally foreign to the artistic traditions of the West. “This exhibition,” continues the curator, “will be a celebration of the transformative power of magic in art, a return to ritual and the pure joy of creating.” There are more than a thousand works on display and most of them will be available for purchase in support of the artists and to offer visitors the chance of bringing home an original piece - another charming aspect of the largest open exhibition of the world, which has continued on since 1769.
Seventy years of encounters, clashes, journeys and metamorphoses, but, above all, an explosion of creativity - all this at the Tate Britain in the largest exhibition ever dedicated to the artistic ties between the Caribbean and the United Kingdom.