The Royal Academy of Arts has announced that White, a project by Edmund de Waal will open to the public from next month.

This latest project from the artist and writer is a very personal journey and exploration of the colour white. It will reveal de Waal’s ongoing fascination with the colour and how it used, its meanings and the impact it has.

Attributed to Sawaki Rizo Masatoshi  The Hare with Amber Eyes  Ivory netsuke of a hare with raised forepaw. Eyes inlaid in amber coloured buffalo horn. Signed Masatoshi.  Osaka, Japan, c.1880  3.7 cm long  Collection of Edmund de Waal   Photographer: Michael Harvey
Attributed to Sawaki Rizo Masatoshi. The Hare with Amber Eyes Ivory netsuke of a hare with raised forepaw. Eyes inlaid in amber coloured buffalo horn. Signed Masatoshi. Osaka, Japan, c.1880.Collection of Edmund de Waal Photographer: Michael Harvey.

For the display, De Waal has selected forty pieces from the Royal Academy collection and private collections including sculpture,paintings and books to interweave through the Royal Academy’s library. This is the first time that this particular space has been curated by an artist.

a mind of winter (2015) 14 porcelain vessels in a wood and plexiglass vitrine 90 x 50 x 15 cm (c) Edmund De Waal Photographer: Mike Bruce
a mind of winter (2015) (c) Edmund De Waal Photographer: Mike Bruce.

Although the colour white is commonly thought of as being neutral but in fact it forces other colours to reveal themselves and it has many different meanings as this display will reveal.

The exhibition will look at white as both an object and experience, giving visitors an opportunity to gain new associations with the colour itself.

Some of the highlights of the display include J.M.W Turner’s porcelain palette, a white-washed sculpture by Cy Twombly and the death mask of Francis Chantrey  RA.

Also to coincide with the project, Edmund de Waal’s The White Road: a Pilgrimage of Sorts will be published by Chatto & Windus on the 24th September.

Edmund de Waal has had his work displayed in museums and galleries across the world. But he has also won the Costa Book prize for his best selling memoir The Hare with Amber Eyes.

White: a Project by Edmund de Waal opens at the Royal Academy of Arts from the 26th September and will be on display until the 3rd January 2016. 

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