The Jury's Still Out on Open Submission Exhibitions
I wish I had read the following before offering that advice though:
In addition to Sir Anthony, that illustrious line up included Georg Baselitz, Sandra Blow, Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, Ken Howard, and Richard Long.
A painting of a blonde girl in a black dress, aptly titled Blonde Girl, Black Dress, emerged yesterday as the best out of 1,305 works on display at the Royal Academy's summer exhibition in London.
Chantal Joffe, 36, a native of St. Albans, north of London, was stunned to learn that she surpassed such art world heavyweights as Sir Anthony Caro to collect the Charles Wollaston award for "most distinguished work" at the show.
"Blonde Girl, Black Dress is an incredibly strong and striking painting," the judges said. "It held its own in the gallery in which it was shown. There was no debate about the winner, the decision was reached unanimously."
Blonde Girl, Black Dress was selected from a shortlist of five works for the prize—whose past winners have included David Hockney—that is worth $45,750 (£25,000, €36,000).
"I never expected to win against such an illustrious line up," Joffe said. "I am overwhelmed."
But before you rush your piece over for next summer's exhibition (actually, I'm not sure, but I think there are residency restrictions, so...) or reconsider whether juried exhibitions are indeed a solid path to fame and glory, consider this article, published in the Times of London before the exhibition was selected (it's titled "Amateurs queue up for £18 chance at artistic glory":
ARTISTS must suffer for their art, and not even repeated rejection from the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition could deter hopefuls from trying again yesterday — although several were angry at having to pay £18 for each work submitted.Moreover, despite the tone of the first article above, this year's winner was not exactly the Cinderella story it seems to be. Along with Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry, Chantal Joffe (whose work I didn't know, but who, upon a bit more research I learned, exhibitions with, among others, Victoria Miro Gallery [suggesting she's no outsider]), had been invited to submit work to the exhibition. Still, congratuations to her for her prize.
One man, who has almost lost count of the number of times that he has been turned down since he first entered in 1970, was back again this time for another go. Theo Matoff, 75, a former architect from London, told The Times that he has probably been rejected 15 times. But he remained defiant as he handed over his latest abstract composition.
“It’s like winning the lottery,” he said of his chances. Only 10 per cent of about 10,000 works entered this year will be chosen for the final exhibition.
One artist, who declined to be named, said that the £18 handling fee for each work was far too expensive, particularly as anyone living outside London also has to pay for transport costs. “And you then have to come back and pick them up when they’re rejected,” she said. “The Academy is raking it in.” It also takes 30 per cent in commission from sales made at the exhibition.