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Wednesday, May 31 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
105. (Paintings) String Theory: An Innovative Insert for the Treatment of Yves Klein’s Rose Monochrome, Untitled (MP 21) 1961

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The underbound paint surface of a Yves Klein monopink painting dating to 1961 presented a unique treatment challenge, inspiring the conservators at Cranmer Art Group to pursue a better understanding of the artist’s intent and process, while searching for a compensation technique that would avoid saturating the paint surface. Research, careful examination, and pigment analysis led to a better understanding of Klein’s materials and technique, and the demands of the conservation treatment prompted reaching past the traditional toolbox.  
Klein, a deeply religious artist in constant pursuit of symbolism and meaning in his work, strove to capture the luminosity of pure pigment on his monochrome canvases. Pink was the final color established in his monochrome series, which include his IKB ultramarine blue monochromes and monogolds. The texture of his monochromes is often varied, indicating an exploration of application method. But while the blue monochromes remain consistent in tone, the monopinks, based on Madder rose pigment, appear to vary widely in tone. MP 21 falls in the darker range of his monopinks, and examination revealed a mixture of both light and dark pink pigment clusters. A better understanding of this variation in pink tone will be achieved through pigment analysis.
An open crack through the upper right corner of MP 21 painting presented a visual blemish and threatened the structural integrity of the object. A previous conservation attempt illustrated that traditional means of compensation would not be satisfactory. By expanding upon the idea of an insert, a solution was derived that involved laying a sewing thread coated with sturgeon glue and crushed soft pastels into the crack, thereby filling and inpainting the loss at once, while establishing an avenue for future reversal if needed. 
The goal of this poster will be to introduce Klein’s commitment to pure pigment and to outline the conservation approach to this austere medium, and consider its successes and shortcomings, and to share any information on Klein’s materials, application technique, and aging properties collected from technical analysis and research.

Speaker(s)
avatar for Kristin Robinson

Kristin Robinson

Paintings Conservator, Cranmer Art Group, LLC
Kristin has been a conservator at Cranmer Art Group since 2012, where she specializes in the conservation of modern and contemporary art. Her interests lie in incorporating a minimal intervention treatment approach with the demands of both the art market and viewer expectations of... Read More →


Wednesday May 31, 2017 3:30pm - 4:00pm
Riverside West Exhibit Hall Exhibit Level, East Tower
  • Cost Free!
  • Poster # 105

Attendees (6)