musée d'art contemporain
de Bordeaux


31.05.2012 -> 09.09.2012

Observing and anticipating

An exploration of matter in an Untitled work, by Enzo Cucchi

In 2011, on the occasion of the Triennial Restoration Plan of its collection’s works, the CAPC commissioned Tiziana Mazzoni, curator-restorer, to conduct a preliminary study before the restoration of Enzo Cucchi’s painting, Untitled, 1985.


To do so, the museum resorted to an innovative high-definition imagery technique to control the painting’s – normal or premature – aging. As a precise diagnosis of the painting’s state of preservation, this study reveals the deterioration of the artwork, analyses its causes, and submits hypotheses for its restoration. For the first time, the CAPC proposes to share the results of this study with the public.

Discovering the back of the canvas before even looking at the painting. Reflecting that the bad state of the artwork might come from the state of the frame. Observing the pictorial layers, the coats of paint, and the metallic slabs. Visualising the first signs of deterioration.
Turning away from the painting and being absorbed by a very high-definition image of the layers of paint. Observing, through a series of targeted zooms, several deteriorations that impair the work’s aesthetics by endangering its integrity and, therefore, its preservation for future generations.

Observing and anticipating is an invitation to ‘examine’ the painting and its degradations, in order to learn about the artist’s technique and intention.


Enzo Cucchi was born in Morro d’Alba (Italy) in 1949. He lives and works in Rome and Ancone. The artist’s first major retrospective took place at the Guggenheim in New York in 1986. His works are represented in the collections of many prestigious museums worldwide, including the MoMA Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Modern in London, and the Art Institute in Chicago.

Two of his works are exhibited in the CAPC’s collection: Untitled, 1985, acquired in 1987, and Untitled (from the Roma series), 1990, loaned by the FNAC (Fonds National d’Art Contemporain), in 1992.


-> Galerie Foy, ground floor
-> Disabled access
-> Price: Entrance of the museum : 5 €, 2,50 € (reduce rate)

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