The Royal Academy of Arts
11 December 2017 – 11 March 2018
The Royal Academy of Arts presents From Life, a special exhibition project taking place across two distinct spaces: the Sackler Wing of Galleries and the Tennant Gallery. From Life examines what making art from life has meant to artists throughout history and how the practice is evolving as technology opens up new ways of creating and visualising artwork.
Drawing from casts of Classical and Renaissance sculpture and life models was long considered essential training for any aspiring artist, and was once a staple of the RA Schools, Britain’s longest established fine art school. Beginning with a display of historic paintings and works on paper drawn from the RA Collection, From Life explores the practice of life drawing, from the origins of the Royal Academy in the 18th century to the present day, whilst also looking to the future. Historic paintings by artists such as Johann Zoffany are followed by works in a diverse range of media by contemporary artists, including Jeremy Deller’s Iggy Pop Life Class (2016), Can Guo-Qiang’s film One Thousand Youngsters Drawing David (2010) and Jenny Saville’s Entry (2004). From Life also presents work by Royal Academicians who continue to interrogate the practice of working from life, among them Antony Gormley, Chantal Joffe, Michael Landy and Gillian Wearing.
For the first time the Royal Academy is working with artists exploring emerging technologies, which presents them with new ways to both observe and represent themselves and the world around them. Farshid Moussavi RA, Humphrey Ocean RA, Yinka Shonibare RA and Jonathan Yeo have experimented with virtual reality technologies, creating new artwork for the exhibition using virtual reality platform HTC Vive, Tilt Brush by Google and artistic software programmes, including MakeVR Pro. Farshid Moussavi’s VR experience transports visitors into masterpieces of ecclesiastical architecture, which they can adapt and transform themselves, while creative technology and content studio Happy Finish have worked with Yinka Shonibare to develop a three-dimensional rendering of a neo-classical painting, featuring a cast of Venus dressed in Shonibare’s trademark batik fabric. Meanwhile, Humphrey Ocean invites audiences to create their own three-dimensional sketches within a playful virtual environment centred on the artist’s fascination with chairs.
From Life reveals the creative process in making these new artworks, as well as opening up the exciting potential of future artistic applications of virtual reality. HTC Vive has supported the development of these works, which will also be available for audiences to experience at home on Viveport, HTC’s global VR app store. Artist Jonathan Yeo has collaborated with Google Arts & Culture to create the first physical free- standing sculpture in metal made by using Tilt Brush, his creative process is captured in a VR film to be published on Google Arts & Culture Youtube channel. The visitors’ experience of the virtual reality element within the exhibition will depend on availability. As each virtual reality artwork can only be experienced individually, access cannot be guaranteed.
對古典和文藝復興時期的雕塑和人體模特進行寫生一直都是所有藝術家必經的訓練。作為英國最早成立的藝術院校，這同樣曾經是皇家藝術學院對學生的基本要求。本次展覽把皇家藝術學院收藏中的歷史油畫和紙上作品作為出發點，探索從18世紀至今的學院寫生實踐，並以數位當代藝術家的多媒體作品表達對未來的期望，如Jeremy Deller的《Iggy Pop Life Class》（2016），蔡國強的視頻作品《一千青年畫大衛》（2010）以及珍妮·薩維爾的《條目》（2004）等。 《從寫生開始》還包括了安東尼·葛姆雷，尚塔爾·喬菲、邁克爾·蘭迪和阿嬌·戴維的作品，這些皇家藝術院士們如今仍在指導學生進行寫生訓練。
這也是皇家藝術學院首次與藝術家一同探索為他們提供觀察、表達自我以及周圍世界新方式的虛擬現實技術。藝術家Farshid Moussavi、Humphrey Ocean、Yinka Shonibare 和Jonathan Yeo使用虛擬現實平台HTC Vive、Google Tilt Brush和包括MakeVR Pro在內的藝術軟件程序為展覽創造了全新的藝術作品：在Farshid Moussav的VR作品中，身處教堂建築內的觀眾通過操控手柄，可以對建築進行立竿見影的調整和改造；Happy Finish工作室與Yinka Shonibare合作進行了新古典繪畫的三維渲染，穿過古典繪畫中的人物後觀眾會看到在花園中身穿蠟染織物的維納斯雕像。 Humphrey Ocean則是邀請觀眾進入一個以藝術家對椅子的喜愛為中心的虛擬空間中，使用手柄創建自己的立體素描作品。