Technique and condition

The painting was executed in acrylic paint on a medium-weight cotton duck canvas, attached to a wooden stretcher by steel staples along the edges and back. The 36 member stretcher is a turn buckle stretcher with tite-joint fasteners at each joint, typical of the Lebron stretcher bar system design. The canvas does not have a size or priming layer.

Olitski began to develop the technique of spray painting onto unprimed canvas in 1965, a method of application that allowed him to paint large surfaces rapidly. Working initially with three spray guns simultaneously to create different densities of colour, by the time he came to paint Instant Loveland three years later, he was using only a single spray gun with a variety of nozzles for more control. The canvas was laid out on the floor and previous staple holes along the edges indicate it was tacked out before the paint was applied. The spray gun contained Aqua-tec acrylic emulsion paint, thickened with acrylic gel medium for a greater viscosity. The thicker drops of paint from the spray gun produced a mosaic-like effect on the unprimed surface, followed by several further applications that gradually blended the colour into an opaque and iridescent covering as metallic and pearlescent powder were mixed in with the paint. The impasted area to the left of the painting consists of gel-thickened paint, built up in relief and sprayed with paint consistent with the density of colour in that area of the painting. The perimeter markings along the bottom and side edges were made with brushstrokes of acrylic paint, beneath and on top of the sprayed coat. The canvas was stretched onto the stretcher after completion of the painting.

The painting is in good condition and is unframed.

Jo Crook
October 1997