Vandalised Rothko at Tate Modern

Film: Intriguing look at those who helped restore the vandalised Rothko at Tate Modern

Posted by Liv Siddall, www.itsnicethat.com, Monday 19 May 2014

Remember back in 2012 when that guy Wlodzimierz Umaniec vandalised a Rothko painting in the Tate Modern? He got jailed for two years, and the mixed reaction from the public was an incredibly interesting one. The painting was taken away by Tate and, since the incident happened, not much has been said about it. For 18 months however, Rothko’s vandalised Black on Maroon has been gradually repaired by the world’s finest restoration crew.

Considering Rothko made a lot of his paintings using egg, glue and rare dyes, cutting out a section of his painting and replacing it is no mean feat. “Over nine months the team researched methods for removing the ink from the delicate paint layers, using special test canvases to assess the appropriate solvents and cleaning methods,” Tate say. “Rachel Barker then spent a further nine months working on Black on Maroon itself, removing the majority of the surface ink before restoring the painting’s surface.” A fantastic and riveting piece of film highlighting a brilliant cause, this is exactly the kind of documentary film that Tate should be creating. Let’s hope it’s the first of many.

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Tate: Restoring Rothko

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Tate: Restoring Rothko

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Tate: Restoring Rothko

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Tate: Restoring Rothko

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Tate: Restoring Rothko

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Tate: Restoring Rothko

The whole process is absolutely fascinating, and shows some of the collaboration between art and science that seems so rare these days. I highly recommend the entire 17 minutes it takes to watch the healing unfold. [YouTube via It's Nice That]