Museum Puts Jackson Pollock Conservation Process on Public Display

The conservator of Pollock’s “Number 1, 1949” shares the challenges he will face when conserving the artwork in the Museum of Contemporary Art’s galleries.

Jackson Pollock, “Number 1, 1949” (1949), enamel and metallic paint on canvas, 63 x 102 1/2 in., (The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Rita and Taft Schreiber Collection, Given in loving memory of her husband, Taft Schreiber, by Rita Schreiber, © 2017 the Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

Great works of art are often thought of as static and unchanging, transmitting a frozen snapshot of their era to subsequent generations. In reality, iconic masterpieces are constantly in flux, transforming as a result of environmental conditions, material dissolution, or human intervention. This is as true of 16th-century Renaissance frescoes as it is of 20th-century modernist canvases.

For the next six months, the Museum of Contemporary Art, in conjunction with the Getty Conservation Institute, will be overseeing a conservation of one of the cornerstones of their collection, Jackson Pollock’s “Number 1, 1949.” Unlike most restorations that take place in studios and labs, this will be conducted in a public gallery, with the conservator Chris Stavroudis working on select Thursdays. Throughout the exhibition, visitors will be able to see the painting painstakingly brought closer to its original state, as decades of dust, smoke damage, and paint instability are dealt with. This Sunday, Stavroudis and curator Anna Katz will discuss his process in general and the challenges specific to the Pollock.

When: Sunday, March 18, 3pm
Where: Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA Grand Ave.) (250 South Grand Ave., Downtown, Los Angeles,)

More info at MOCA.

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