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Modern and Contemporary Art

In this section, students will be engaged in the examination and conservation of various objects ranging from two- and three-dimensional artworks to installations and media art. They will not only deal with conceptual or performative forms of art, but also with a great variety of novel materials and artistic modes of production and technologies, which will compel participants to re-think the principles and methods of conservation ethics.

An important teaching approach is to confront students with original artworks; in this context, it is our key objective to convey the skills and knowledge necessary to examine artworks with regard to the artistic process involved, to document all the aspects of the work and finally to carry out conservation measures. Furthermore, issues of material technology, conservation strategies for modern and contemporary painting and synthetics, and the basics of conserving technical and/or electronic components are approached in both theory and practice. Students will also learn how to apply special forms of documentation, interviewing techniques and methods of analysis and evaluation. When teaching conservation with regard to contemporary art, we closely cooperate with artists, a practice well established at the Institute.

The section Conservation and Restoration of Modern and Contemporary Art was awarded its own chair in 2005 and thus became one of the few training programs of its kind at university level in Europe.

Red animal like object and a student working on it.
Visual examination of the Red Walrus by Carsten Höller (2011), photo © Christoph Freidhöfer
Student working with brush on a wall with inscriptions.
Consolidation treatment of the paint layer on the installation Stahlweg I – XII by the artist Christoph Schlingensief (2006), photo © Lisa Rastl
Student with headphones in front of a computer and an old Sony monitor and technical equipment.
Digitization station of the Institute, photo © Lisa Rastl
Student with swiveling microscope examining a brown surface.
Examination of the phenol-formaldehyde foam - surface on the work Zwischendeck by Dorothee Golz, photo © Lisa Rastl

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Conservation and Restoration of Modern and Contemporary Art
Room | 0.3.1
Focus E