From Life

Royal Academy of Arts

11 December 2017 – 11 March 2018

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Explore the history of life drawing and discover how artists are pushing the boundaries of traditional practice with new technologies.

Jeremy Deller, Iggy Pop Life Class, Organised by the Brooklyn Museum, 2016

This exhibition encompasses both past and future, beginning with drawings and paintings from the Royal Academy since its establishment in the 18th century. The practice of drawing from life and from casts of Classical and Renaissance sculpture was always a vital part of an artist’s schooling at the RA and it continues to be explored and interrogated in the work of Academicians such as Antony Gormley, Chantal Joffe, Michael Landy and Gillian Wearing.

The use of different media is showcased in pieces such as Jeremy Deller’s Iggy Pop Life Class (2016), Cai Guo-Qiang’s film One Thousand Youngsters Drawing David (2010) and Jenny Saville’s Entry (2004), and for the first time, the Royal Academy presents work in emerging technologies.

Jonathan Yeo is making the first free-standing, metal sculpture created with Tilt Brush, an artist software by Google, and the world of Virtual Reality is the medium for work by Academicians, Farshid Moussavi, Humphrey Ocean, and Yinka Shonibare. Immersive content studio, Factory 42, is also working with the RA, creating Virtual Reality experiences based on artistic practice and examining the very nature of the creative process itself.

Venue information

Opening times

Mon – Thu, Sat – Sun, 10am – 6pm Fri, 10am – 10pm Closed 23 Jun, 24 – 26 Dec

Please visit for special late openings:

"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)