German-American artist Smith and American artist Viola are the latest to join the Royal Academy’s long list of great artists, inclusive of Anish Kapoor, Zaha Hadid, Tracey Emin and Phyllida Barlow, who have been recognised for their contributions. Due to being based outside of the UK, Smith and Viola received the Honorary title.
“All of the Royal Academicians (RAs) are practising artists who help steer our vision, support our activities and plan for the future,” explains the academy of the accolade. Indicating that there are no more than 80 RAs at one time, of which there are strict guidelines in place that outline a minimum of 14 sculptors, 12 architects and 8 printmakers while the remaining are painters, each year’s two additions are selected by the pre-existing RAs.
Viola is noted for his pioneering work in the medium of video art, has had several retrospectives in international institutions in recent years that outline his humanistic and spiritual themes, and currently has works up at documenta14 (Athens). Smith’s body of work revolves around the human condition and the natural world in the form of sculpture, printmaking, drawing and photography, and is currently showing at the Venice Biennale.
For more information visit royalacademy.org.uk
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