Dulwich Picture Gallery is encouraging you to take a closer look at their Permanent Collection. One of the artworks will be replaced by a Chinese replica hanging among the 270 Old Master paintings on display.
The Gallery will temporarily remove one of its paintings from the frame, replacing it with a replica commissioned by Doug Fishbone and produced by one of China’s numerous exporters of handmade oil paintings.
‘Made in China: A Doug Fishbone Project’ will explore the nature and importance of the original versus the copy and the role of art as commodity, a subject of increasing importance in our age of global mass production. This project is a great way to intervene, and engage with the Gallery’s collection completely anew.
For three months (10 February – 26 April) the identity of the work will remain concealed. Visitors will be invited to identify the replicated painting and have the opportunity to submit their answers via an iPad in the Gallery. Those with the correct answer will be entered into a competition to win a custom print from the Gallery’s collection, signed by Fishbone. The replica will be revealed on 28 April 2015, when it will hang side by side with the original. Visitors will be invited to return to compare and contrast. How does the brushwork differ? How has the varnished aged on the original? How has the Chinese artist interpreted the style of painting of an Old Master?
“Hanging a replica will make visitors to Dulwich question their own judgement. We wanted to remove any possibility of clues, to give the replica a chance to stand on its own merits. I wouldn’t be surprised if a specialist curator spots it- I should hope they would! – But I think it’s good enough to trick people and that’s exciting- more importantly a hidden copy puts everything open to suspicion and by the same token makes everything subject to more scrutiny. In this sense it’s a project about focus, attention even mindfulness.” (Doug Fishbone)
Will the replica be hard to find? If you feel that you’ve spotted it, let us know…