Conservation of a Lavar Munroe, Work on Linen

The team at John Jones recently received an artwork from a collector client, by contemporary artist Lavar Munroe (b. 1982 Nassau, Bahamas). The involvement of the Conservation department identified areas of media that were at risk and provided a solution for supporting its unusual and complex shape. 

The main challenge of this particular artwork was that the large-scale work on linen featured cut-outs, collaged elements, and strong distortions that relate to the artist’s working process and application of media.

The work had previously been stored rolled.  This had lead to cracking and flaking of the media layers, most prevalent in areas closest to cut-out areas of the linen.  These areas of cracked and loose white paint were consolidated using a gentle conservation-grade adhesive.

Having stabilised the condition of the media, the process of slot-mounting the artwork could be undertaken.

Slot mounting to paper-faced Dibond® supports the artwork, can pull back planar distortions where possible, and helps achieves as flat an appearance as possible once mounted.  It was selected in this case because the irregular shape and intentional distortions prevented more typical solutions such as securing it to a stretcher, like a standard oil painting, or using long velcro strips, as with a tapestry.

The location, orientation and dimension of the slots and hinges were carefully assessed by our conservators, and tailored accordingly in order to bear weight, to support areas where the media was most fragile, and to restrain the artwork where appropriate.

Japanese paper tabs, pre-prepared with a strong conservation-grade adhesive, were adhered to the artwork by reactivating the adhesive with heat. The hinges were fed through slots in the Dibond panels and secured to the back.

Finally, tape was used to cover the slots in the secondary support to prevent air exchange and dust-ingress through the slots.

Slot mounting has enabled safe handling of the artwork, reliable adhesion, and easy reversibility.

 

This artwork was framed in a contemporary style aluminium welded art frame, hand welded at our studios, and specially sprayed in a tone of purple to pick out colours within the artwork. The artwork was glazed in UV protective, low reflective Perspex, to protect the work long term.

 

If you would like more information or to arrange a consultation for art conservation, specialist mounting or framing of artwork, please email info@johnjones.co.uk 

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