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The sicofoils of Carla Accardi: conservation problems and examples of intervention

Two works of Carla Accardi have been subject to restoration at the Laboratory of paintings and contemporary materials at the Central Institute of Restoration (ICR) in Rome...

They are two sketches for sculptures which never in fact materialized, made in the seventies and entered for competitions held by the Commune of Rome.
Both consisted of a single sheet of sicofoil, a cellulose acetate which went out of production after 1981 and which proved highly reactive to thermohygrometric variations in the environment.  In both cases the transparent sheet, painted with monochrome enamel and bearing the typical pictorial emblems used by Accardi, was pinned onto a wooden frame on which a canvas painted in tempera had first been attached, to provide the background.
Before restoration, the sicofoil sheets of the two sketches suffered the same alterations: surface undulations and deformations, and detachment from the frame.
Interventions carried out on both works involved lining the edges using various procedures and materials. The works, one restored in 2000 and the other in 2004, have been preserved in two separate museum depositories, exposed to alternative humidity and temperature values. Now that several years have elapsed since the restoration work, assessments may be made in relation to the restoration procedures adopted and their field of application, particularly as regards the actual environmental conditions within which the work will be conserved.


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