PREVIEW: Bill Viola / Michelangelo, Royal Academy of Arts

The Royal Academy of Arts will present an exhibition that will compare and contrast the work of two artists who through their work concentrates on the nature of human experience and existence. 


On display from the 26th January 2019, the exhibition will bring together the work of video artist, Honorary Royal Academician Bill Viola (b. 1951), with drawings by Michelangelo (1475 -1564).

This exhibition will a unique opportunity to see major works from Viola’s long career and some of the greatest drawings by Michelangelo, together for the first time, as well as the first exhibition at the Royal Academy largely devoted to video art.

Bill Viola/Michelangelo will be comprised of twelve major video installations by Viola, from 1977 to 2013, to be shown alongside 15 works by Michelangelo. These will include 14 highly finished drawings, considered to be the high point of Renaissance drawing, as well as the Royal Academy’s ‘Taddei Tondo’.

Throughout the display will examine the affinities between them, bringing together specific works to explore how they treat the fundamental questions: the nature of being, the transience of life, and the search for a greater meaning beyond mortality.

Talking about his work Bill Vila said: “Through my travels and experiences first in Florence, then primarily in non-Western cultures, and in combination with my readings in ancient philosophy and religion, I began to be aware of a deeper tradition, an undercurrent stretching across time and cultures… the ancient spiritual tradition that is concerned with self-knowledge.”

Bill Viola/Michelangelo will be on display at the Royal Academy of Arts from the 26th January until the 31st March 2019. For more information visit:


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