T. van Oosten
H. van Keulen
- Go with the flow: conservation of a floating sculpture from 1961 made from glass fibre-reinforced polyester resin
- Plastics: Looking at the Future and Learning from the Past
- Book/source title
- Plastics: looking at the future and learning from the past: papers from the conference held at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 23-25 May 2007
- Pages (from-to)
- London: Archetype
- Document type
- Conference contribution
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
Marta Pan’s Sculpture flottante, Otterlo was commissioned by the Kröller-Müller Museum for a pond at the entrance of the new sculpture garden that opened in June 1961. The floating sculpture is made from glass fibre-reinforced polyester resin and is now coated with white paint layers. The top is connected to the base by a joint with a ball bearing, enabling it to rotate 360 degrees independently of the bottom part when activated by the wind. This smoothly shaped white lightweight water figure is a landmark for the public and an icon for the sculpture garden for generations of visitors to the Kröller-Müller Museum.
In 2004 research into the condition of the artwork was instigated as several problems were apparent: the rotation of the upper part had partly failed, the floating position appeared incorrect and the surface of the sculpture was covered with numerous paint layers. This paper deals with the investigation into the condition of the sculpture and research into practicalities of dealing with a heavy and large floating object. The interview with the artist is discussed as well as the conclusions for treatment and maintenance. The key element is the focus on the artwork as a whole, implying that the motion in combination with water and the outdoor environment are of equal importance as the material elements, the paint layer and the volume of the sculpture itself.
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