Homo Faber exhibition reveals the secrets of art restoration
What don’t we see when we view a piece of restored art?
• It can take eight hours to clean 5cm2 of a painting, using a scalpel and a microscope.
• A single tapestry could have up to 250 different tones which a restorer must colour-match.
• Restoring a piece of contemporary art can be 90 percent research and preparation, 10 percent craft.
• Doctors, chemists, detectives, historians and artisans: art restorers are all these professions rolled into one.
This September visitors to the Homo Faber exhibition in Venice will get an intimate insight into the world of art restoration in the exhibit Restoring Art’s Masters.
Isabella Villafranca Soissons, Director of the Department for Conservation and Restoration at Open Care, a Milan-based leader in the field of art restoration, will bring her master restorers to Venice to showcase their craftsmanship by working live, in front of visitors, on five pieces of antique and contemporary art: a tapestry, an antique painting, a contemporary artwork, a 16th century plaster and wood chest and an iconic piece of design – a huge polyurethane foam foot.
When we view a piece of restored art, the restorer’s work usually cannot be seen. But at Homo Faber visitors will have an unprecedented opportunity to witness the skill of restoration up close. The use of Go Pro cameras will allow visitors to see exactly what a restorer is doing, in intimate detail, as they work to breathe new life into a piece of art.
The exhibition space will also feature:
• Before and after pictures of restored artworks
• Workshops and conferences illuminating the techniques used in restoration
• Demonstrations of a 3D laser scanner used to diagnose issues in artworks to be restored (in collaboration with Factum Foundation)
“An artist gives birth to an artwork, a restorer brings it back to life” – Isabella Villafranca Soissons
Restoring Art’s Masters is one of 16 exhibition spaces that make up Homo Faber: Crafting a more human future, a major new exhibition celebrating European craftsmanship, organized by the Michelangelo Foundation.
Notes for editors
Crafting a more human future
Fondazione Giorgio Cini, San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice.
Free entry upon registration at homofaberevent.com
Homo Faber is the first major cultural exhibition dedicated to the very best in European craftsmanship. Organized by the Michelangelo Foundation, it aims to put fine craftsmanship on the global map and increase recognition and visibility for master artisans. The exhibition will bring together a vast range of materials and disciplines, from jewellery to bespoke bicycles, from the rarest artisanal techniques to some of the most iconic examples of the finest European workmanship. Created by a hand-picked team of world-class designers, curators and architects, the exhibition stretches over a number of magnificent spaces throughout the Fondazione Giorgio Cini. homofaberevent.com
The Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship is an international, nonprofit institution based in Geneva, Switzerland, which celebrates and preserves master craftsmanship and strengthens its connection to the world of design. Rooted in a tradition of culture and excellence and in the realities and challenges of today’s global economy, the Foundation seeks to support men and women who dedicate themselves to the pursuit of master craftsmanship and to foster a new cultural movement built around the values that are essential for their work. The Foundation focuses on Europe as a starting point for its activities, in recognition that craftsmanship has been a vital part of the economic and cultural fabric of the region for centuries. michelangelofoundation.org
Open Care is located in Milan in the historic complex of Frigoriferi Milanesi. It is the only company in Italy offering in-house integrated services for the conservation, management and valorization of artworks of any kind, technique and period. It includes five laboratories specialized in the conservation and restoration of paintings, frescos, antique, modern and contemporary works of art, wood decorations, tapestries, antique textiles and carpets and a laboratory of antique scientific instruments supported by a diagnostic laboratory. Open Care has a network of consultants with the specific expertise for the valuation of collectibles and assistance in purchases and sales of artworks and collections. It also provides fine art logistic services (shipping, insurance, outfitting) and storage services (in more than 8,000 m2 of vaults), making Open Care one of the most extensive and equipped areas for the conservation of artistic assets, documents and valuable in Europe.