Exhibition | Up close: Preservation, Protection and Conservation-Restoration of Modern and Contemporary Works of Art
22 December 2022 – 16 April 2023

Up close: Preservation, Protection and Conservation-Restoration of Modern and Contemporary Works of Art

Opening: 22. december 2022 ob 20. uri 
22. December 2022 – 16 April 2023
Moderna galerija MG+

Virtual walk through the exhibition

Heads of the project: Nada Madžarac (MG+MSUM), Mirta Pavić (MSU), Tamara Trček Pečak (UL ALUO)

The Department of Conservation and Restoration at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design of the University of Ljubljana (UL ALUO) and Moderna galerija in Ljubljana (MG+MSUM) have been cooperating closely since 2013. Together with conservation-restoration students, they pursue professional and scientific goals in the fields of diagnostics, documentation, treatment and preventive conservation, as well as in raising awareness and educating the general public. 

A similar collaboration is also taking place in Croatia. The Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb (MSU), the Department of Conservation-Restoration at the Academy of Fine Arts (ALU) in Zagreb and the Arts Academy in Split (UMAS) are carrying out joint projects to familiarise students with the characteristics of contemporary works and with the ethical and technical handling of modern and contemporary materials.

As the issues are quite complex, no less than six partner institutions have joined forces in the Up Close project the three main organizers, MG+MSUM Ljubljana, UL ALUO and MSU Zagreb, and the associated institutions: the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology of the University of Ljubljana, the Restoration Center of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, and the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of Zagreb. Colleagues and students from other faculties of the University of Ljubljana (the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, the Faculty of Education, the Faculty of Arts, the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television, and the Academy of Music), the Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry of the University of Zagreb and the Arts Academy of the University of Split, as well as the Vasko Lipovac Atelier in Split and the Forensic Science Centre Ivan Vučetić in Zagreb have also participated in projects whose results have contributed to the final picture presented here.

There is no routine in the conservation-restoration of artworks, especially modern and contemporary works. In the case of modern artworks, we can still, at least partially, follow the rules of treatment that apply to older artworks, since artists like Marij Pregelj and Gabrijel Stupica still observed the rules of technique, but this is no longer the case with certain other works from the middle of the last century, and especially with contemporary works.

All the projects presented reveal this diversity of approaches and, through their interconnectedness, facilitate an understanding of the issues at stake, covering a period from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day. In some cases, the focus is on ethical issues, in others on research into the material structure, the production technology of the artworks or the reasons for the damage that has occurred or is still occurring, in still others on the conservation and restoration treatment itself, while the solutions are sometimes linked to preventive conservation. The latter also includes raising awareness among the general public (all generations and including vulnerable groups), whose understanding and approach can make a significant contribution to the longevity of artworks.

Exhibition map (.pdf)

The other projects included in the exhibition (ŠIPK) were co-financed by the Republic
of Slovenia and the European Union through the European Social Fund.

For help with the implementation we thank