lex thomas mr and mrs andrews

Orleans House Gallery from 2 October 2010- 23 January 2011

This open exhibition explores how and why contemporary artists approach famous artworks - the perceived ‘masterpieces’ of art history.

Works question notions of ‘originality’ and ‘authenticity.’ The exhibition includes meticulous exact copies in oil to radical reworkings in different or incongruous media.

Artists copy, quote or reference past works for a number of reasons. For some, it is the continuation of the academic tradition of learning through copying, the challenge to equal or perfect a renowned work, while for others it is commercial - creating popular souvenirs for a lucrative consumer market.

Some of the artists included pay reverent, respectful ‘homages’ to artists who have had a profound impact on their work, while others create playful postmodern pastiches imitating and subverting the familiar style of an artist.

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