Oscar Chiantore and Antonio Rava; 2013
Since the advent of the avant-garde in the early twentieth century, visual artists have adopted new techniques and materials, some of whose characteristics of aging and wear are still largely unknown today. The conservator's intervention has become increasingly delicate, problematic, and experimental and requires not only technical knowledge of these materials but also a greater awareness of the artist's intellectual universe. Translated from Italian to reach a wider audience, Conserving Contemporary Art: Issues, Methods, Materials, and Research is one of the first books to give a comprehensive overview of the many considerations faced by the conservator of modern and contemporary art.
The book takes into account both the material and ethical aspects of contemporary art—focusing on the enormous variety of techniques and materials used by contemporary artists—and their deterioration. It also emphasizes the need to understand the meaning of these works when devising an appropriate conservation strategy. A number of chapters are dedicated to specific conservation treatments, such as cleaning and reintegration, while the many issues introduced are illustrated with a number of examples from painting, photography, sculpture, installation art, video, and web-based art. All in all, the text acts as an introduction to many of the issues with which the field is currently grappling.