Benjamin Palencia - Conservation
Benjamin Palencia was a leading figure in the Spanish avant-garde movements of the 1920’s and 30’s. Our conservation team were pleased to remove this striking piece by the artist from a harmful, acidic board support for a private client. The artwork was washed by repeat immersion in mineral water to remove fragments of the board and adhesive residues from the back. This process significantly reduced discolouration and brightened the overall paper tone of the piece. Tears in the paper and a small area of loss were repaired and re-touched using specialist 100% cotton rag Japanese papers, watercolours and candle wax to imitate the surface texture of the original crayon media. Rather than hinging the artwork using tabs, our team chose to inlay the piece to a sheet of Japanese paper to lessen the risk of localised distortions and more evenly restrain the edges of the artwork.
Upon removing the artwork from its original board support, our in-house conservator was delighted to discover an original inscription on the back of the piece reading ‘Cabeza de mujer’, which translates to ‘Head of a woman’. The piece had previously been thought to portray a rooster, completely changing the art historical reading of the image.
Benjamin Palencia - Head of a Woman