Watch DIA Conservators at work Thursdays and Fridays, December 19 – January 10
DIA conservators are preparing Das Geviert by Anselm Kiefer to be taken off view. They will be working in the gallery from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-3 p.m. Paintings Project Conservator Becca Goodman will give 5-minute talks at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Feel free to ask questions!
Why is this happening?
The last time the painting was moved was in 2004. Since then, it has aged and changed, requiring conservators to intervene before the DIA’s Collections Management team can safely handle the artwork.
What steps are conservators taking?
Dusting – For the health of the painting (and those handling it!), the artwork must be dusted. Dust can cause paint to crack if it sits on the surface for too long or become stuck to the paint and require more aggressive cleaning—or worse, it can become so embedded in the paint that it cannot be removed at all.
Consolidating – Kiefer’s nontraditional materials are inherently unstable. They are prone to cracking, lifting, and powdering, so conservators are applying a light coating of adhesive so they don’t detach during deinstallation.
Applying temporary Japanese tissue bridges – Japanese tissue, which is strong and archival, will be temporarily pasted over elements that are most fragile and need extra support during deinstallation. The bridges will be removed after deinstallation and will not cause any changes to the surface of the work.
Inserting support at the back – The weight of Kiefer’s materials has caused the canvas to sag and bulge over time. To relieve stress on the canvas and reduce vibration and slack, a support will be added behind the canvas.
The conservation team working on this project includes Becca Goodman, Paintings Project Conservator; Blair Bailey, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Paintings Conservation and Ellen Hanspach-Bernal, Paintings Conservator