The Preventive Conservation of Contemporary Works of Art

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  • Title: The Preventive Conservation of Contemporary Works of Art: Some Case Studies
  • Author(s): María Del Carmen Bellido Márquez
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies
  • Keywords: Preventive Conservation, Contemporary Art, Artistic Materials
  • Volume: 14
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2327-008X (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-2554 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2327-008X/CGP/v14i02/1-12
  • Citation: Bellido Márquez, María Del Carmen . 2019. "The Preventive Conservation of Contemporary Works of Art: Some Case Studies." The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies 14 (2): 1-12. doi:10.18848/2327-008X/CGP/v14i02/1-12.
  • Extent: 12 pages

Abstract

The conceptual evolution and the material renovation of contemporary artwork have generated many problems in its conservation. The study of the major causes of alteration and the established recommendations for new artwork preservation can be seen in the criteria followed in different examples of contemporary art: the consideration of the possibility to forbid lending Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica;” the maintenance of Eduardo Chillida’s “The Comb of the Wind” at an exhibition under bad conditions; and the re-edition and exhibition of Richard Serra’s lost piece of artwork, “Equal-Parallel: Guernica-Bengasi.” Artists and selected works are referents internationally. The works presented for study have different technical support and various conservation problems. They are also found in Spanish collections or have been exhibited in Spain, which was a main factor in the decision to use them in this study. In conclusion, there are different reasons why conservators and curators have needed to extend their classical working criteria, namely the wide diversity of the constitutive material of contemporary artwork, the difficulty to predict its durability, and the concept of reduced durability. Thus, each particular case has to be studied with the artists very closely, and many choices need to be made, such as the manner of documentation, whether or not to reproduce performance art, or how to re-edit works that have been lost among other solutions.