Christopher Le Brun becomes Royal Academy president

Christopher Le Brun Christopher Le Brun was one of five candidates for the post

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Painter, printer and sculptor Christopher Le Brun has become the 26th president of the Royal Academy of Arts, succeeding Sir Nicholas Grimshaw.

The Slade School of Fine Art and Chelsea School of Art graduate said he relished "the challenges of taking the Royal Academy into the future and building on its past successes".

Architect Sir Nicholas was in the post for seven years.

Members of the Academy, founded in 1768, are elected by their peers.

Current members include Tracey Emin, David Hockney, Sir Peter Blake and Antony Gormley.

Le Brun, 59, said he was grateful for the support of his fellow academicians.

"The Royal Academy is one of the world's leading arts organisations and is unique because it is run by artists," he said.

Contemporary art

Le Brun is the first painter to be elected to the presidency in almost 20 years.

He told reporters he wanted to be a "painter president" and continue working while in the role, but that it would require "self-discipline".

He added that he was keen to encourage young artists and for the Academy to be "a major force in contemporary art".

"We may make mistakes and you may see the hem show, but I would rather that," he said.

Le Brun, whose work has been exhibited all over the world, was elected to the Royal Academy in 1996.

In 2000, he became the academy's first professor of drawing.

Le Brun, who is married to painter Charlotte Verity, was awarded an honorary fellowship by University of the Arts London in 2010.

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