Oscar Chiantore and Antonio Rava
Since the advent of the avant-garde in the early twentieth century, visual artists have adopted new techniques and materials, some of whose characteristics of aging and wear are still largely unknown today. The conservator's intervention has become increasingly delicate, problematic, and experimental and requires not only technical knowledge of materials but also a greater awareness of the artist's intellectual universe. Translated from Italian to reach a wider audience, this is one of the first books to give a comprehensive overview of the many considerations faced by the conservator of modern and contemporary art.
The book takes into account both the material and ethical aspects of contemporary art—focusing on the enormous variety of techniques and materials used by contemporary artists—and its deterioration. It also emphasizes the need to understand the meaning of these works when devising an appropriate conservation strategy. A number of chapters are dedicated to specific conservation treatments, such as cleaning and reintegration, while the many issues introduced are illustrated with examples from painting, photography, sculpture, installation art, video, and web-based art. All in all, the text acts as an introduction to many of the issues with which the field is currently grappling.
Oscar Chiantore is a professor of chemistry and polymer technology at the University of Turin and has collaborated with conservators at the Tate, London, and the Getty Conservation Institute. Antonio Rava is a conservator, also based in Turin, where he has headed the conservation firm Rava & C. for over thirty years.
“A valuable starting point for anyone concerned with the preservation of contemporary art.”
“The conservation of contemporary art is both an understudied and extremely important topic. . . . This volume . . . has short chapters dedicated to pertinent issues (new materials, methodological problems, degradation), techniques (cleaning, inpainting, visual reintegration), and conservation of installation art, conceptual art, and Internet art. . . . Highly recommended.”