Royal Academy Of Arts Elect Christopher Le Brun As New President

Royal Academy Of Arts Elect Painter As New President

Last week The Royal Academy of Arts elected Christopher Le Brun as their new president - the first painter to take the role in almost 20 years.

Le Brun said he want the RAA to host exhibitions that "establish new movements" in the art world and said his presidency would be associated "with more intellectual risk". His new role will mainly involve fund-raising and helping to promote the educational arm of the academy.

He succeeds Sir Nicholas Grimshaw after being voted in by an assembly of Royal Academicians which included Anish Kapoor and Anthony Gormley. The last time a painter held the role was Sir Roger de Grey in 1993.

Le Brun has had a highly distinguished career since graduating from Chelsea School of Art in the mid-70s, exhibiting in several significant surveys of international art including Watercolour at the Tate Britain earlier this year. He was elected to the Royal Academy in 1996 and in 2000 became the Academy's first Professor of Drawing.

Not that his appointment was entirely without controversy. The Royal Academy failed to find a suitable female candidate for their shortlist, despite having 19 female Academicians. No woman has ever held the position in the organisation's 243 years - something Le Brun acknowledge. "It would be reasonable to say that there's a fair likelihood that the next president could well be a woman," said the 59-year-old.


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