Bill Jacklin RA, who has hung Gallery l, has lived in Manhattan for more than 30 years. He is inspired by the city's energy, as eddying crowds and invisible natural forces flow through its manmade canyons. He captures this urban natural history in works that dissolve the city New York into an interconnected swirl of buildings, people, wind, rain and light Gallery l, which focuses on smaller works, is dominated by Kutlug Ataman's THE PORTRAIT oF SAKIP SABANCI, a shimmering, undulating cloud of 10,000 LCD panels that floats just above our heads, each panel a photograph of someone whom Sabanci, the Turkish philanthropist and industrialist, encountered before his death 15 years ago. This populous cloud overshadows the whole space, so to compensate Jacklin has blocked out two densely packed areas of small paintings on the gallery's north and south walls. He has then established a narrative flow through these works, moving us around the room from representational paintings of the figure and landscape, through semi-abstraction to abstraction, with the six larger paintings at each end of the gallery-by Jacklin, Eileen Cooper RA Fred Cuming RA, lan Mackenzie Smith and Jane Lewis offering a distillation of this aesthetic journey. Like the works in the Summer Exhibition itself, the disparate group of artists in this room has no predetermined connections, but because they occupy the same space and are closely hung together, we begin to invent aesthetic narratives to link them. The subtle shifts between light and dark in Nicholas Pace's strange, monochrome landscape are echoed directly opposite, in the slight tonal shifts we see in the minimal abstracts of Tess Jaray RA or Jane Bustin. The children and plants in Mick Rooney RA's surreal interior find a response beneath in Stella Parsons's portrait of a girl with an enormous bunch of flowers, while the yellow dress of David Remfry RA's woman walking an invisible dog is taken up in the background of Harry Hill's two male portraits.
Source: Royal Academy Summer exhibition reviews.