Art in Mayfair 2024

By Christina Makris
Art in Mayfair Culture

This annual event returns, bringing open-air art to Bond Street.

Lizzie Munn, The Sun Speaks - flag installation, 2024

Art in Mayfair, in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Arts, proudly announces its seventh edition of a creative showcase blending fashion, art and culture in the city. Every year, this partnership transforms Bond Street and Mayfair – where many of London’s most celebrated and visited luxury boutiques, shops and other venues are located – into an open-air gallery and officially heralds the arrival of the summer season in the capital.

From 10 June to 7 July 2024, London’s prestigious shopping and gallery neighbourhood will host the four-week celebration. The timing aligns with the Royal Academy of Art’s annual Summer Exhibition, which has been showcasing art from the Royal Academician artists since 1769. This is the RA’s 256th Summer Exhibition, and the show has become the world’s premier open submission contemporary art show, and attracts art lovers of all ages and interest to the academy every summer. All art sales benefit the RA’s charitable work, including the students of the RA Schools. This edition is curated by Ann Christopher RA, a British sculptor, and will open on 18 June and run until 18 August.

David Breuer-Weil, Hidden - 2019 Presented by Galerie B Weil Location: 5 Old Bond Street

This summer, the Royal Academy has yet another reason to celebrate its mission and purpose: 21 May saw the launch of the completed RA Schools extensive restoration and renewal project. The RA Schools was established in 1769, and is Britain’s oldest art school. It offers a free three-year postgraduate programme to 17 artists. The students study and work in studios at Burlington House, its historical residence, which showcases layers of cultural history from the era of the 1st Earl of Burlington, to its purchase by the government in 1854, to the RA’s occupancy from 1868. The RA Schools has long been a nurturing ground for painters, draughtsmen, sculptors and architects, and it continues to welcome a diverse international artistic community.

Juvenile Tyrannosaurus Rex - unveiled 2023. Presented by David Aaron. 30 Berkeley Square.

The renovation of the Schools was overseen by David Chipperfield Architects, with Julian Harrap Architects managing the restoration elements. The work, which began in January 2023, focuses on maintaining the building’s historical essence while modernising it to meet the demands of a 21st-century art education. However, the celebrated Life Room has been ‘meticulously preserved, almost exactly as it was left after Norman Shaw’s 1880s modifications’, according to Lyall Thow, partner at Julian Harrap Architects. ‘It maintains the original timber benches, leaning boards for canvases and a historic lighting boom designed to illuminate the model at the centre of the room.’ Visitors will fondly recall this Victorian amphitheatre shape and array of anatomical plaster casts, as well as the life-sized plaster horse, having hosted many artists and guests through the centuries.

‘The RA Schools has long been a nurturing ground for painters, draughtsmen, sculptors and architects’

The Art in Mayfair celebration and the RA and its Schools this year are also connected by the annual flag commission, which has been awarded to the RA Schools student Lizzie Munn (class of 2024). The commission involves an artist designing a series of flags to crown and flutter over Bond Street in the summer and celebrates the importance of art and artists in this area. It is a reminder of how this creative factor is also a part of the luxury fabric of Bond Street and Mayfair. Katie Thomas, associate director of Bond Street and Mayfair, says: ‘Our collaboration with the gifted young artist Lizzie Munn this year has been especially fulfilling, allowing us to highlight the significance of the RA Schools as they cultivate, nurture and champion the next generation of artists in the Capital.’ Munn’s artwork titled The sun speaks will be displayed above Bond Street starting from 10 June. Munn will also showcase her degree work at the RA Schools graduate show, open from 14-30 June. Previous artists who designed this flag include Bob and Roberta Smith RA (2023), Mali Morris RA (2022), and Gary Hume RA (2021). Munn says she has ‘enjoyed watching the flags change on my daily commute into the RA Schools over the past few years. I thought Bob and Roberta Smith’s continuous puzzle piece was really ambitious, and it was great to see Mali Morris's commission as I've always loved her paintings.’ Being chosen for the commission is an ‘opportunity to extend my practice into the street, creating a sprawling, responsive installation’.

Gavin Turk, Figure – 2011. Presented by Ben Brown Fine Arts. Location: Flower Stall, New Bond Street.

‘Brands across Bond Street, Savile Row and Mayfair will collaborate with artists and galleries to create pop-up installations, talks, walks and special events’

When visitors pause from looking up at the flags, they can look ahead on the street to the Art in Mayfair Sculpture Trail, which will feature large-scale works by internationally acclaimed artists, presented by leading Mayfair galleries. The artists in the past have included Gavin Turk, Kojo Marfo, Bernar Venet, Robert Indiana and Kalliopi Lemos.

Additionally, brands across Bond Street, Savile Row and Mayfair will collaborate with artists and galleries to create pop-up installations, talks, walks and special events. Iconic fashion and jewellery brands in the area will craft art-inspired window displays, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in a series of fashion and art-led experiences.

Elizabeth Frink, Horse and Rider, permanent display
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