News / Art

RA announces David Adjaye and Gilbert and George as new Royal Academicians

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Gilbert and George: Baby Straight

The Royal Academy of Arts in London has elected artists Gilbert and George and architect David Adjaye as new Royal Academicians following a recent general assembly.

Christopher Le Brun, president of the Royal Academy, said “David Adjaye joins us at a time when the Royal Academy architects currently comprise a more distinguished group than at any time in its long history. I’m delighted to welcome Gilbert and George to the Royal Academy; the election of two people as one artist member is the first of its kind in the history of the Academy.”

The Royal Academy of arts was founded in 1768 and is governed by 80 Royal Academicians who are all practising artists or architects. On reaching the age of 75 they become Senior Academicians thus initiating vacancies for new members. Elections are held at regular meetings of the general assembly, when new members are voted in by existing RAs.  

“Sir David Adjaye is recognised as a leading architect of his generation. Born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents, his broadly ranging influences, ingenious use of materials and sculptural ability have established him as an architect with an artist’s sensibility and vision,” says the Academy of the architect’s work. Of Gilbert and George’s work it says: “The artists believe that everything is potential subject matter for their art, and they have always addressed social issues, taboos and artistic conventions. Implicit in their art is the idea that an artist’s sacrifice and personal investment is a necessary condition of art.”

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Gilbert and George in 1973

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David Adjaye

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David Adjaye: Dirty House, 2002