Andrew Graham-Dixon, Lauren Laverne and Mark Kermode present a special edition of The Culture Show devoted to the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition.
The hour-long special will showcase the best of the 2009 exhibition and look back to uncover the secret of its enduring appeal.
Held every year since 1769, the Summer Exhibition is unique. Running from June 8 to August 16, it is the biggest open-submission contemporary art exhibition in the world, and the longest-running annual art event. The show displays a wide range of new work by both acclaimed and completely unknown artists in all media - including painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture and architecture.
Andrew Graham-Dixon tracks the progress of four unknown artists who have submitted work for consideration this year. He loves their work, but will their pictures make it through the make-or-break judging process and into the final show?
The Culture Show talks to some of the leading artists exhibiting this year. New Royal Academician Michael Landy - famous for having destroyed all of his possessions - talks about why he is now making portraits. The programme also follows two legends of the sixties art scene, painter John Hoyland and sculptor Allen Jones, as they prepare work for the exhibition; and video art sceptic Mark Kermode talks to Richard Wilson, who is curating the Summer Exhibition's first ever room dedicated to video art.
There is also exclusive access to the judging of the Wollaston Award and the winner of the 25,000 pound prize is revealed. Previous winners include David Hockney, the Chapman brothers and Jeff Koons.
Plus a spectacular performance by art lover Beth Ditto and band of the moment Gossip, playing to the crowds at the Summer Exhibition's glamorous preview party.