Technique and condition

The following entry is based on an interview with Vercruysse’s assistant held in January 2005 and the conservation record held in Sculpture Conservation.

Full size hollow plaster cast of a grand piano suspended off the floor by eight partially painted or lacquered wood batons.

A mould was taken from a full set of piano keys and a solid plaster cast taken. An aluminum frame was created to produce the profile of the piano. The frame was then covered with a jute scrim layer and the cast keys positioned. Flax was used to attach these elements to the frame. The artwork was then placed in a plywood mould (as used for concrete casting) and plaster poured in. Paint and lacquer was brush applied to the wood batons.

The surface of the plaster is matt with no coating which means it is porous and easily marked. The lacquered wood batons have a high gloss finish; the painted batons are matt.

There are no additional inscriptions or markings by the artist.

There are minor abrasion marks from the manufacturing process on the unsealed plaster as well as a few minor handling marks and original fills. Vercruysse is satisfied with the current appearance and wants the plaster to remain ‘Clean and perfect’ (Johan Witdouck, Vercruysse assistant, Tate interview 17.01.05).

Jodie Glen-Martin
November 2005