The Royal Academy's legendary Summer Exhibition has been an annual event since 1769 and is always an occasion for innovation, experiment and debate. But 2020 may prove to be its most extraordinary year yet: prevented from opening in May by the closure of the Royal Academy during the Covid-19 pandemic, the exhibition this year opens in the autumn. A committee of artists and architects, led by the artistic duo Jane and Louise Wilson RA, will hang over 1,000 works in the galleries of Burlington House, all while navigating the challenges of social distancing, travel restrictions and shielding. The Summer Exhibition Illustrated
was first published in the 1870s and presents the highlights of the show, which this year include works by Korakrit Arunanondchai, Karen Kilimnik and Chris Ofili. In their conversation that opens the book, the Wilsons expand on the experience of opening the exhibition in such exceptional circumstances and celebrate the resilience of artistic practice and its power to bring people together. The Summer Exhibition 2020 will run from the 6 October 2020 to 3 January 2021.