Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Anyone who knows me has heard me talk about the Miami Marine Stadium. A 1963 sports arena for watching boat races, the stadium was designed in 1963 by Cuban-American architect Hilario Candela. Much has been written about this exquisite masterpiece of mid-20th century exposed concrete architecture. Seen here in its current tagged and slightly dilapidated state, the building has most recently been the subject of an article by Princeton professor and engineer Sigrid Adriaenssens. Published in the International Journal of Architectural Heritage, the article deals specifically with the engineering of the hyperbolic paraboloids that comprise the roof line. I had the privilege to be a co-author on this article together with Dr. Andriaessens and Professor Jorge Hernandez of the University of Miami Architecture Faculty. My portion of the article was based on interviews with Hilario Candela, in which he described some of the architects and engineers who influenced his work. The entire article can be read online here:
Monday, March 12, 2012
RLA Assistant Conservator Christina Varvi puts the finishing touches on the cleaning of a white marble sculpture.
RLA recently added to its growing list of post-fire recovery projects with the conservation of a collection of 23 severely soot damaged sculptures in a private Western Art Collection. Consisting primarily of wildlife and figurative works made of bronze, marble, silver, porcelain, geodes, the collection was badly soiled during an electrical fire in a kitchen that deposited thick soot onto all surfaces. RLA conservators performed the work on site in Texas, carrying out a multi-phase treatment that began with dry soot removal and continued with solvent, detergent and steam cleaning phases as needed.
Marble cleaning in process. The challenge in these treatments is to remove the soot without driving it into the pore structure.
Bronze sculpture with variable patina looks dull and incorrectly uniform due to soot accumulation.
Bronze sculpture after treatment. Note variation in color between areas of piece, visible only after soot removal.
Porcelain Mallard Before Treatment. Note severe discoloration on base portion due to soot ingrained in the porous surface.
Porcelain Mallard After Treatment.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Photo: "Hymn of Life:Tulip" (Yayoi Kusama) 2007 City of Beverly Hills, CA
RLA was recently awarded a contract to perform conservation services to the public art division of the City of Beverly Hills. Our firm was selected to conduct a survey of the collection, perform remedial treatments on 5 sculptures, and provide general consultation services for the city's collection of public art. We will begin this work in April 2012. It is an ongoing contract with provisions for renewal.
We are proud to add the City of Beverly Hills to our growing client list of outdoor sculpture and public art programs. This list presently includes the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority, Hawaii State Foundation for Culture and the Arts, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Huntington, University of Miami, Florida International University, Miami-Dade County, the Palm Beach County Cultural Council, the Palm Springs Art Museum, the Long Beach Arts Council, the Contemporary Museum of Hawaii, the Broad Art Foundation, the General Services Administration (GSA), the Chinati Foundation (Marfa, TX), Vizcaya Museum and Gardens (Miami), and the cities of Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, West Hollywood, West Covina (CA), Inglewood (CA), Santa Fe Springs (CA), and Honolulu.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
The latter half of 2011 was so busy for our firm that we had no time to add to this blog. In the meantime we launched a new website www.rlaconservation.com. The new site will be the general site for learning about RLA personnel, projects, news and more. This site will be used by Rosa Lowinger for blogging about culture, conservation, preservation and RLA projects.
The project seen in the photo is the first of 2012. It is the conservation and repainting of Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen's "Dropped Bowl with Scattered Slices and Peels". Installed in 1990, the 17-component fountain installation is in the collection of Miami Dade County's Art in Public Places Program. Situated in downtown Miami at Government Center at Open Space Park, the painted fiberglass, concrete, and stainless steel components are undergoing their first professional conservation treatment.
Stay tuned for more images.