Art in America takes you behind the scenes with paintings conservator Joanna Neville of Modern Art Conservation as she talks conserving paintings by Géricault and Warhol, as well as a new database aimed at preserving works by African American artists.
A.i.A. takes you behind the scenes of those working in the art world as part of our “Hands On” column.
Read an edited version of their conversation here: https://tinyurl.com/3cu78dxk
Art in America: https://www.artnews.com/c/art-in-america/
Featuring Joanna Neville
Special Thanks to Modern Art Conservation
Director, Producer, Video Editor: Christopher Garcia Valle
Director of Photography: Jasdeep Kang
Interviewer, Editor: Francesca Aton
Footage of the Louvre, Paris via Getty
Okay my name is Joanna Neville and I’m a paintings conservator at Modern Art conservation in New York my role as a conservator has many different aspects to it the part that people tend to think of first is the Hands-On side the technical side where we’re repairing paintings we are
Very connected to the Art Market here in New York and there are a lot of very tight deadlines we are looking at a lot of paintings or treating paintings in connection with their sale or exhibition so we spend a lot of time in galleries auction houses and private residences
Examining our works and writing condition reports we borrow a lot of tools from Fields such as Dentistry or surgery to help us for some of the very meticulous and fine work that we do and as conservators we are always on the lookout for extra tools whether that be a porcupine quill
Or something equally unusual that is just perfect for the job the aim of a lot of what we do is no case the artist’s work and not our own work and so in many ways we are behind the scenes and we are invisible and deliberately so so the average Museum
Visitor or Gallery visitor may not be aware of all of the hours of work that have gone into preserving something very near the end of the treatment of a painting by Theodore Jericho which is an oil study for his famous painting The Rock and the Medusa which is in Paris
The study for that painting that I’m working on is owned by the Lucas Museum of narrative art doing aesthetic reintegration of the object which was reconstructing the lost or damaged areas with reference to the final painting to refocus the attention of Jericho’s work and so that it could be viewed as a
Whole and this involved a lot of our historical research with reference to the final painting in Paris and also to other oil sketches that Jericho did so that we could rebuild that imagery and have the painting be in a displayable state again I enjoyed the creative side that goes into tailoring treatments
Where artists have used unconventional materials like tar feathers bubble gum acrylic paint things that are themselves very unconventional or have been mixed in unusual ways and going through some of the detective work of thinking about how the artist has worked with those materials looking at the condition issues and then coming
Up with a creative solution of how you can best preserve that artwork all of those things were very exciting to me and from that point on I was hooked
Video Joanna Neville on Conserving Paintings by Géricault and Warhol was uploaded on 07/06/2023 by Art in America Youtube channel.