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"No New Thing Under the Sun" Explored in Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts
Amikam Toren, Armchair Painting - Untitled (The End of the World As We Know It), 2007. Oil on canvas in plexi box. Courtesy of Anthony Reynolds Gallery.

LONDON.- No New Thing Under the Sun will open in the Tennant Gallery this October. The exhibition will bring together selected historical pieces from the Royal Academy Collection together with works by contemporary artists. Around 50 works spanning the last 500 years will be featured. Inspired by the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes, this exhibition is about time, transience, and human vanity; about the grandeur of life, and the inevitability of death. Though not a religious or dogmatic show, the exhibition is a response to the scripture and aims to evoke the book’s mood. In offering a pause for consideration and reflection on the human condition, the exhibition will allow viewers to connect with the sorts of simple truths that are overlooked in our hectic world, and ends by suggesting a sense of simple joy at being alive in the here and now.

Mixing together exhibits by contemporary artists with carefully selected drawings, prints, photographs, sculptures and paintings from the RA Collection, the show offers a wide variety of ideas to do with life and death: from the cynical to the celebratory, from the rational to the magical, from the astonishingly gruesome to the tenderly poignant. Ultimately it points to a broader philosophy about the nature of art itself, posing the question: can there be anything new under the sun?

Artists featured in the exhibition will include: Marius Bercea, Pavel Buchler, Patrick Caulfield, John Constable, Tacita Dean, Gilad Efrat, Tracey Emin, Roland Flexner, James Gillray, Peter Harrap, Cantemir Hausi, William Hogarth, Idris Khan, Natasha Kissell, Ciprian Muresan, Eadweard Muybridge, Christopher Orr, Samuel Palmer, Seb Patane, G. B. Piranesi, Muntean/Rosenblum, Victor Racatau, Gideon Rubin, Daniel Silver, George Stubbs, Amikam Toren, Julian Trevelyan, J. M. W. Turner, and Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor.

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