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Thursday, May 29 • 2:00pm - 2:30pm
(Paintings Session) Notes on the Treatment of Cracks in Paintings

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Some cracks and small distortions that disrupt a paint film cannot be categorized as threats to the health and stability of the entire piece, yet they can have a profound influence on our aesthetic appreciation of the artwork, particularly in abstract paintings where the subtlety of the surface is the artistry. There is little in the literature about the treatment of these small but prevalent irritations, yet in my experience during 20 years of private practice treating Contemporary paintings, it is clear that they represent a disproportionate source of anguish for artists, viewers and owners.

The talk will consist of three parts:

  1. A brief look at the history of treating cracks by lining or other means, whether such treatments were successful, and how they have shaped subsequent treatments.

  2. A very practical demonstration of a method for treating cracks in paint films that we have been practicing in our studio for some time, including a discussion of the chemical and physical changes wrought by the treatment, our successes and failures, and what can be learned from those. This part of the talk is an expansion of a paper given in London in 2006 (see below for link to the paper), detailing several new variations adapted to different paint surfaces and types.

  3. Some observations on our tolerance of damage, and how that varies with the age and type of object under consideration.

avatar for Mary Gridley

Mary Gridley

Mary Gridley, Cranmer Art Conservation, LLC.
Mary H. Gridley received a BA in The History of Art, Yale University, 1980, and a Diploma in the Conservation of Easel Paintings, Courtauld Institute of Art, 1991. Mary has worked in private practice on contemporary paintings and works on paper at Cranmer Art Group since 1995. Publications... Read More →

Thursday May 29, 2014 2:00pm - 2:30pm PDT
Bayview A-B