In June 2013 the GCI collaborated with the Modern Materials and Contemporary Art working group of ICOM-CC to organize at the Kröller-Müller Museum (KMM) in the Netherlands a meeting on conserving outdoor painted sculpture. Nearly one hundred professionals attended.
Conserving outdoor painted sculpture can be challenging, given the uncontrolled and often harsh environments to which works are exposed. Yet collectors and artists often have the expectation that painted surfaces should remain pristine. Although conservation approaches for these sculptures exist, most involve major and costly interventions, such as full repainting of a work.
The meeting included eighteen talks covering technical and philosophical aspects, and case studies were presented on sculptures of influential artists working in this medium, including Calder, Dubuffet, Lichtenstein, Oldenburg, Di Suvero, and Tajiri. Three papers focused on works in the KMM collection, and participants visited the KMM sculpture park to view the works and discuss their conservation with the professionals involved. The meeting concluded with a panel discussion of conservators and representatives from the Dubuffet and Tajiri Foundations, as well as members of the paint industry; the discussion focused on identifying ways for conservators to work with artist foundations and industry. Meeting postprints are scheduled for publication in summer 2014. More information on the meeting is available on the INCCA website.
The report of a related June 2012 meeting organized by the GCI at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is now available. The report addresses issues, responses, and priorities related to the conservation of outdoor painted sculpture.