Whose art would you forge?

July 21, 2009

“Close Examination: Fakes, Mistakes and Discoveries,” an exhibition slated to go on show next summer at the National Gallery in London, will celebrate copies of works done by students of the great masters.

The exhibition ties in with recent forays by the gallery into boosting its reproduction of art online via a new iPhone application and a relaunch of its website, which allows access to its entire collection.

In a 1972 book titled “Ways of Seeing” based on a BBC TV series, critic John Berger wrote that with the advent of “cheap colour photography” the reproduction of works was made possible with a clarity never before possible except by using oil paint.

This, he argued, gives the spectator a false sense that they own the real object. However, reproductions remove the original sense of a work adding to a proliferation of meaningless images.

“Users can now examine every National Gallery masterpiece in outstanding detail, effortlessly sweep across digital canvases and zoom into minute details of their choosing,” a National Gallery press release states.

Do you think the National Gallery is taking the right approach? Whose work would you reproduce and why?


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I would do Piet Mondrian’s work.

Posted by Stanley Moss | Report as abusive

Certainly wouldn’t attempt Jasper Johns — well maybe the American flags, but not the patterns.

Posted by dan trevithick | Report as abusive

I don’t think it matters at this point in history how much art is reproduced online. Imagery has no central meaning anymore, as recent artists have suggested through their work. If I had time, I’d make copies of Vermeer’s work and try and sell it on ebay.

Posted by Cynthia | Report as abusive

Stephen Wiltshire’s, that would be the biggest challenge for any forgers.

Posted by Zed | Report as abusive


Posted by Cedric | Report as abusive

oil paintings by the old masters may be forgable, but the important point is that we have moved beyond art for imitation, and that forgery isn’t a success or feat in art, like Zed said, Stephen Wiltshire would be far harder to forge as concepts of modern day art have not been solidified yet, whereas a lot of people assume or take it for granted that concepts of traditional art has.

if i was to, though, i would forge sarah muirhead
http://www.murmurart.com/art/murmur_75-2 16413_cornelius

Posted by Johnathan Barner | Report as abusive