Contemporary Collections: Preprints from the AICCM National Conference 17th g 19th October 2007 Brisbane pp. 97-109


As part of a major study into the effects of surface cleaning acrylic emulsion paints, the Tate AXA Art Modern Paints Project (TAAMPP) aims to evaluate a series of in situ surface cleaning treatments on paintings in the Tate Collection. This paper reports on the completed treatment of the first such case study: Untitled 2/72 (1972) by British artist Jeremy Moon (1934-73), an abstract composition that consists of a large monochromatic field of orange paint framed with pink bands. The treatment was evaluated using a range of examination and analytical tools on both colours. The medium (EA/MMA copolymer), and pigments (cadmium orange, quinacridone violet PV19 and titanium white) were characterised and Triton X-405 surfactant was identified on the surface (particularly the pink paint) and in cleaning swabs. Conductivity measurements were low, except in highly soiled areas, and no significant colour change was induced by aqueous cleaning in either colour. A slight increase in gloss was measured after treatment, particularly in areas where surfactant had been more abundant. Encouragingly, the results from this first evaluation of an acrylic emulsion work of art generally concur with those obtained from model samples prepared with contemporary acrylic paint formulations.

2007 AICCM National Conference, Brisbane
Paper author:
Ormsby, Bronwyn; Smithen, Patricia; Learner, Tom