Recent cleaning of a large painting by Frank Stella. The challenge with this project was the boundaries working with an artwork where the artists applied the paint to a 'raw' canvas, hence 'not primed'.
In 1959, Frank Stella gained early, immediate recognition with his series of coolly impersonal black striped paintings that turned the gestural brushwork and existential angst of Abstract Expressionism on its head. Focusing on the formal elements of art-making, Stella went on to create increasingly complicated work that seemed to follow a natural progression of dynamism, tactility, and scale: first, by expanding his initial monochrome palette to bright colors, and, later, moving painting into the third dimension through the incorporation of other, non-painterly elements onto the canvas.
This project focused on the cleaning, mending and flattening of a select group of posters for the exhibit.
'Julius Klinger: Posters for a Modern Age'
October 6, 2017 - April 29, 2018
The Wolfsoniun Museum - FIU, 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, 33139
Recognized as one of the leading graphic artists of the modern age, Austrian designer Julius Klinger (1876–1942) transformed commercial visual culture through his innovative advertising posters, book and magazine illustrations, mass promotional campaigns, ornamental and typographical design, and brand development. Associated with both the Vienna Secession and Jugendstil at the turn of the twentieth century, Klinger became famous as a poster designer in Germany, eventually returning to Austria to found a studio at the outbreak of the First World War. He would stay in Vienna, with two short visits to the United States, until his deportation to a Minsk extermination camp, where he died in 1942.
Three-day project. 2 conservators. The project required precise and involved polishing of the outdoor sculpture. The goal to bring the original finish was achieved.
Ernest Tino Trova (February 19, 1927 – March 8, 2009) was a self-trained American surrealist and pop art painter and sculptor. Best known for his signature image and figure series, The Falling Man, Trova considered his entire output a single "work in progress." Trova used classic American comic character toys in some of his pieces because he admired their surrealism. Many of Trova's sculptures are cast in unusual white bronze.
With stone sculpture, it is common for mold to form. Removing of mold and maintenance is essential.
The artist was an Israeli-American artist and sculptor who worked primarily in stone and subsequently by casting in bronze. Based in New York City since 1975, his studio is located in Brooklyn. The power of natural materials and the relation of human beings to that power determine the content of Vaadia's sculpture.
This conservation project’s profile was approaching the removal of salts surfacing from within the object over time. In addition, we fill in and touch up losses of the original material.
Filipino Americans: A Glorious History, A Golden Legacy, painted by Eliseo Silva, was unveiled in 1997. The City of Los Angeles Board of Cultural Affairs Commissioners awarded the mural its first ever Award of Design Excellence for public art. The murals depict the history of Filipino immigrants in the USA. Over the years the mural was tagged and covered with graffiti paint. By the time the conservation team addressed the restoration worked there were at least three graffiti murals, one on top of the other. After agreeing with the original artist and guided by photographs provided by the Eliseo Silva, the team restored the covered areas.
Giorgio de Chirico was a paragon of early and late Surrealism. The Italian painter influenced and inspired his contemporaries along with an entirely new generation of Cubist and Futurist artists. The painting: Due cavalli fuggenti in un paese from 1959 was conserved by Viviana Dominguez at Art Conservators Lab.
Jacob Lawrence (1917- 2000) was one of the most recognized African-American artists and art educators of the 20th century. In his paintings he reflected the struggles of African Americans for freedom and justice.
As a craftsman Lawrence enjoyed preparing his own paints. Primarily a tempera painter, he combined powdered pigments with equal parts of egg yolk and water plus a few drops of formaldehyde (as a preservative) to create his paints. However over time he also used commercially prepared egg tempera, a paint system that proved to be detrimental in years to come by producing cupping and paint flaking.
Art Conservators Lab preserved Man with Flowers from 1950 for the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach.
Man with Flowers, 1950, tempera on fiberboard, shows his typical vivid color and abstract treatment to realistic subjects. The above photographs the overall image, a detail of the cupping and flaking paint and a drawing done by the conservators to map the damaged areas prior to restoring them.
Tikashi Fukushima (1920-2001) was a well-known Japanese-Brazilian abstract painter. While he was a large part of the Brazilian abstract movement, he still reflected his Japanese roots in his works.
In the case of this painting (Untitled),the surface was exhibiting a blanched (whitish) area about 2 to 3 inches wide covering the entire perimeter of the painting including the signature. This discoloration was not part of the aesthetic of the piece and was disfiguring the image and original colors.
After extensive research the conservators were able to design a safe protocol to remove the discoloration and bring the painting’s vivid colors back once again.
Asger Jorn (1914-1973) was a Danish painter, sculptor, ceramic artist, and author. He was a founding member of the avant-garde CoBrA (Copenhagen, Brussels & Amsterdam) movement, whose group's working methods prioritized process over product, and were based on spontaneity and experiment, using found objects and materials in general. Jorn was also an active member of the communist resistance movement during WWII in Denmark. His abstract paintings have influences of the ornamental art of the Vikings and the medieval frescoes of Denmark. He was also greatly influenced by his contemporaries, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Fernand Leger.
The Relationship Between Man and Nature in Old Hawaii by Jean Charlot is a unique mural located at the Leeward Community College Theatre lobby in Pearl City, Hawaii. The mural is approximately 100 feet by 25 feet in size and it was commissioned by the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts for the LCC Theatre's grand opening in 1974. The French born artist was, as a young artist, part of the Mexican Mural movement in the 50’s working with masters such as Diego Rivera and David A. Siqueiros. The mural was conserved by Viviana Dominguez in 2007. The photos below shows before, during and after treatment.
The ‘bones’ of a painting on canvas is the stretcher. A good stretcher as opposed to a strainer has expandable miter joints that may be cut on different angles, generally 45° or 90° to form a corner of 90° angle. Over the years the materials that composed the artwork, in this case wood and canvas, go under stress due to the inevitable apportion of water that brings contraction and expansion of these materials. Eventually the canvas will loose its appropriate tension that would need to be re-established by adjusting the miter joints. A good stretcher is made out of stable wood (bass is a good option) with a bevel profile, so that the canvas is not in contact with the interior of the stretcher bar, with adjustable miter joints like keys or other systems like bolts to maintain proper tension.
Kenneth Noland was a very famous American abstract painter. He was one of the best-known American Color Field painters. The 1960’s painting belongs to a series of a series of studies of concentric rings or bulls eyes, commonly referred to as targets.
Photos below show the old stretcher on Kenneth Noland painting and a new mechanical stretcher.
The oil on wood panel, 1947, is by artist Serge Ivan Chermayeff. The flaking paint on the panel was the result of transporting the artwork from a humid environment to a much drier climate. The consolidation (stabilization) of the paint layer was a very slow and meticulous process that involved the use of low viscosity consolidants while working in humidity controlled environment.
The author, Russian born, was a British architect, industrial designer, writer, and co-founder of several architectural societies, including the American Society of Planners and Architects
An american artist known for his paintings of Flag (1954-55). Since 1960 Johns has worked closely with Universal Limited Art Editions, Inc (ULAE) in a variety of printmaking techniques to investigate and develop existing compositions.
Jasper Johns "Painting of Two Balls" is a silkscreen from 1971. The edges of the paper were discolored (yellow-brown) due to acid burn from an old matt-board. The discoloration was topically treated repeatedly with a scientific grade alkaline solutions that were then neutralized. Planar distortions were flattened and small tears mended.
Jasper Johns, Painting with Two Balls (1971)