Technique and condition

The painting was executed on the smooth side of a single sheet of hardboard. An original hardwood strainer not only constitutes a secondary support for the thin, flexible hardboard but also forms an integral part of the artwork. The strainer is butt joined with nails and is attached to the hardboard with a proteinaceous adhesive and metal pins inserted through the front. The board is further supported by crossbars positioned diagonally on the reverse and attached using the same technique as the strainer. The crossbars do not extend into the corners and consequently, do not come in contact with the strainer.

No evidence exists of initial preparation, the bare hardboard being visible in areas of loss. Four layers of paint were applied to the entire front surface as well as the sides of the piece, these are coloured bright pink, bright purple, a violet blue and a duller darker blue at the top layer. After the painting was completed, the top of the adhered wood strips were painted with the bright pink colour. Overall the surface is smooth with only the slightest amount of texture from the long brushstrokes.

The painting has not been exhibited because of it is considered to be structurally unstable. The hardboard has become detached from the strainer at the top and the bottom and has started to warp at these points. Approximately half of the crossbars have become detached from the hardboard and the top left end of the diagonal cross bar is projecting out from the back of the painting. Across the surface, there are many drips, splatters, scratches and scuff marks. Front and back of the painting are covered with a moderate layer of dust.

The painting was treated in the Tate Conservation Studio in 2001-2002.

Julie Simek
October 2001