Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Genius or Pain in the A$$?

“How to Restore Pollock’s Drips” - Art conservation has become such an intricate and well-understood science that it sometimes seems as if there is no damage a skilled professional cannot undo, no work that cannot be perfectly preserved. But the paintings of Jackson Pollock present a unique challenge for restorers, with the famous spatters subject to cracking and other deterioration. A new restoration job on one of Pollock's more famous works points up how conservators' techniques have changed over the decades. The Christian Science Monitor (Boston) 04/26/06

Click here to read the entire article.

I’m often on the receiving end of a lot of questions regarding the archival nature of my scrolls. I’ve used a number of different mediums over the years and have become disgusted with nearly all of them - my heavy impasto oils are terrible for collecting dust; my acrylics (well, nothing wrong with them in an archival sense, I just don’t like the frosted/pasty look of acrylics); charcoal and graphite images get smudged no matter how much care you take; and watercolors require too much protection from natural light. All of these issues combined to lead me to work-out new ways of both mixing my pigments and playing with new materials on which to lay my paints. Now-a-days, my paints are constructed from archival ink and acrylic polymer bases, mixed with just the right amount of elusive Asian mineral spirits. I also construct my own scrolls from various rice paper sources - in fact, it is common for most of my scrolls to be pieced together bits of rice paper from no less than four sources at once. The added balsa wood panels just cater to my tactile love of mixing two and three-dimensional objects in art – I use Balsa wood because it is light as air so I don’t have to worry about the added weight ripping the paper scroll.

So from an archival standpoint, I’m doing everything I can to head-off any problems down the road; but I know I can’t predict everything. Sure Pollock’s work has become a classic example of an archivist’s nightmare, but it doesn’t make the work any less important. - DN

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