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Proceedings Paper

Non-artistic materials in artistic works by David Lynch: multidisciplinary approach
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Paper Abstract

Four paintings of David Lynch’s cycle from the period 1996-2001 were investigated in order to propose proper conservation treatment. Non invasive elemental analyses with portable XRF indicated traditional pigments like cadmium red, iron black, ivory black. The main material of unknown origin used as paint contained significant amounts of alumina, magnesium and additions of silica and iron. SEM-EDX and FTIR analyses conducted on samples enabled further recognition. Material used as paint was chlorinated polyethylene close to the industrial product Agitan P 813. Coating used instead of typical artists’ varnishes proved to be alkyd resin. In carpenters’ glue used by artist for “consolidation” repairs polyvinyl chloride was detected as the main component. For the primer acrylic medium with chalk and titanium white was used. Artist was insisted to help to identify unexpected non-traditional materials. He revealed that elastomeric Taylor 2080 Adhesive for gluing carpets was executed as paint and for the coating - Man O’War Marine Spar Varnish for garden wooden furniture of McCloskey company. The amorphous silica indicated by the lacquer’s producer as ingredient was identified and visualized in the SEM-EDX. Consolidating adhesive was the Titebond III Ultimate Wood. Investigation revealed wide use of non-artistic materials by David Lynch. Recognized materials enabled to propose modified cleaning treatment based on buffered water solution of controllable pH (5) and conductivity (5,5 mS) resulting in successful cleaning of the works. Paper is a case study of material recognition of technique of contemporary works of art of basic importance to propose its proper conservation treatment.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 2019
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 11058, Optics for Arts, Architecture, and Archaeology VII, 110581O (12 July 2019);
Show Author Affiliations
Miroslaw Wachowiak, Nicolaus Copernicus Univ. (Poland)
Grażyna Szczepańska, Nicolaus Copernicus Univ. (Poland)
Klaudia Gontowska, Nicolaus Copernicus Univ. (Poland)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11058:
Optics for Arts, Architecture, and Archaeology VII
Haida Liang; Roger Groves; Piotr Targowski, Editor(s)

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