Volume 89 Issue 29 | pp. 29-31
Issue Date: July 18, 2011

Preserving Plastic Art

Chemistry of polymer-based creations presents unique problems for conservators
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Materials SCENE
Keywords: plastics, art, conservation

Dutch artist Madeleine Berkhemer began making sculptures from stockings in 1997, using up to 1,000 pairs of pantyhose to make each of her taut, ethereal pieces. Initially, she didn’t worry about the durability of the nylon- and spandex-based leg-wear in her art.

Then Berkhemer visited a museum showing a work by the French-American artist Louise Bourgeois, who also used stockings in her sculptures from the 1940s and onward. The stockings in Bourgeois’ art had lost . . .

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