The Fitzwilliam Museum and most of Cambridge in fact are awash with publicity driven towards the Silent Partners exhibition. But little is known of the real silent partner at the Fitzwilliam, hidden at the museum is a small gem of an exhibition featuring all 83 etchings from the Disasters of War (1999) series by Jake and Dinos Champan. Yes, you read that correctly – the Chapman brothers have work in the Fitzwilliam - nice to see the brothers work unsettling the folk of Cambridge.
The brother’s work subverts Goya’s series of prints Disasters of War and was created in just 28 days by drawing onto the plates with a variety of etching techniques. Using softground, hardground and aquatint and sometimes working on the metal directly with drypoint or a drill to create a line with scratch-like marks with a child-like quality.
Outside the Shiba room where the etchings are housed is Insult to Injury, wallpaper printed by inkjet, is a wallpaper created with images of a set of reworked images from Goya’s Disasters of War series. By drawing and painting replacement faces for some of the figures – this wallpaper is certainly one you won’t find down B&Q.
Jake and Dinos Chapman (2009) Insult to Injury [inkjet print on wallpaper]
Alongside the Chapman brother’s prints are some prints by Goya, including Sad forebodings of what is to come. These prints act as direct reference points and highlight the context in which the prints were made and act as an adhesive to bind the brother’s work to the Fitzwilliam’s collection.