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Subject: Softening painting layers

Softening painting layers

From: Ulrik Runeberg <rune-ulrik<-a>
Date: Thursday, May 12, 2005
Who has gained experience in softening deformed painting layers
(traditional oil and acrylic painting media)?

Right now I am undertaking a research about alternative treatments
in order to lay down cracked and deformed fragments of oil paint.
The layers of colour are up to two millimeters thick, extremely
warped and separated in mayor areas from the canvas.

The concerned object is an abstract painting by the Puerto Rican
artist Olga Albizu who was active in New York. The painting was
executed in the early 1950's.

Beva products may have some softening properties (Beva D-8; Beva
371), but also Ethylene Glycol is mentioned in the literature
(Gustav Berger's publication mentions a composition of several
products such as acetone and ethanol in combination with Glycol

The application of heat might be problematic because the tensions
within the fragmented painting layer is not to control. Excessive
heat seems also very likely to damage the structure of the painting
material. Locally, the heat spatula certainly helps to some degree
to bring down less deformed and relatively stable parts of the
painting. But such areas are just a fraction of the painting.

I would be grateful for any feedback and experience in this matter.

Ulrik Runeberg
Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Puerto Rico

                  Conservation DistList Instance 18:54
                   Distributed: Friday, May 20, 2005
                       Message Id: cdl-18-54-023
Received on Thursday, 12 May, 2005

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