Technique and condition

A relief cut out of a thin piece of woodpulp board. It was found to be discoloured and splits have occurred in the top layer.

White and blue oil paint is thinly applied in vertical brushstrokes. The paint is uneven in consistency with lumps and other impurities apparent in the surface.

On acquisition the relief was removed from a black plywood support. It was found to be glued for reinforcement to a piece of 3mm plywood cut the the shape of the design. The cut plywood edges had been chamfered and the reverse painted with white acrylic paint. A photograph supplied by the previous owner shows the back of the relief before reinforcement with Arp's signature in pencil. Old discoloured retouchings were removed and losses and splits filled and retouched. The existing frame was replaced with a new one similar to the original and constructed from a photograph and information provided by the Arp Foundation. The original frame, made of narrow rounded moulding, was known to have been painted by the artist to correspond to the colour of the relief. In accordance with the artist's intentions, a perspex backboard has been fitted to allow the colour of the wall to be visible behind the relief.

Jo Crook
1997