Ambient M1 by Vinko Tušek - construction dilemmas 43 years later
Miladi Makuc Semion
Associate Professor of Conservation of polychrome wooden sculptures,
Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Slovenia
Poster presented during the conference "Authenticity in Transition. Changing practices in art making and conservation", 1-2 December 2014 Glasgow School of Art, Scotland. Abstract published in the Abstracts booklet, available at: http://www.gsa.ac.uk/media/1267895/Authenticity-in-transition-abstract-booklet.pdf.
Courtesy: Glasgow school of Art, Erma Hermens and Frances Robertson.
The sculpture Ambient M1 (1971) by Vinko Tušek (1936–2011) has long been deposited dismantled at the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana (Slovenia). It has been restored and reassembled again for an exhibition in May 2014. It is considered the first ambient sculpture in Slovenia. The artist created an innovative space by exploring the relationships between colours and forms. The composition is made up of 34 colourful painted wooden elements interconnected by 38 iron bars and wires. The elements were cleaned, the original varnish preserved and the cracks closed. But complete reconstruction was difficult due to lack of information – we only had one black-and-white photograph of the original layout and some artist’s markings on the elements. An approximation was professionally and ethically justified, since the artist himself adapted his compositions to the exposition spaces. This case points out the importance of good documentation on the making of artworks and artists testimonials about their work. Especially works of art from the not-so-distant periods are often unfairly treated as average or even unworthy because they are “too young”, but may in fact be important steps or even milestones in art, both in terms of artistic expression and the use of materials.
About the author:
Miladi Makuc Semion is an academic sculptor, currently associate professor on the subject Conservation of polychrome wooden sculptures at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design. Before this he was conservation-restoration consultant at the National Gallery of Slovenia, responsible for coordination of conservation work for several exhibition projects and conservation-restoration of numerous Gothic and Baroque polychrome wooden sculptures.