A recurrent myth in art history is that of the painting which looks so real that it fools its onlookers into thinking it is the real thing. Since the development of photography, realistic painted images are often described as "photographic". This painting by Andrew Grassie is so faithful to perceived reality that it can be mistaken for one of the photographs from which he works.
The sculpture store of the Government Art Collection in central London is the subject here. Among the stored works of art which can be seen are Rachel Whiteread's 'Untitled (Plinth)' and Martin Creed's 'Work No.253: THINGS'. Another painting by Grassie in the Collection depicts the Pillared Drawing Room at 10 Downing Street. Taken together, both paintings contrast the display of works of art in grand settings with the banality of their storage when not on display.
Andrew Grassie was born in Edinburgh. He studied painting in London at St Martin’s School of Art (1984-1988) and then at the Royal College of Art (1988-1990). In the late 1990s and early 2000s he made paintings that resembled photographs, including tempera on paper studies of the gallery interiors in which they were exhibited. He won the Special Merit Award at the John Moores Painting Prize in 2004 and had a solo exhibition at Tate Britain, part of the Art Now series, in 2005. He has shown his work in numerous group exhibitions across Britain and Europe; in addition to recent solo exhibitions in London, Edinburgh, Cologne, Berlin and New York. He currently lives and works in London.
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