(6-31 January, 2022)
January, the first month of the year. The month of beginnings, promises or revelations. What do we choose to see and to show, to repair or to modify at the beginning of the year?
We chose the theme "made up" for this thirty-second theme of Quarantined Museum, because we wanted to put forward the collection of the Musée d'art de Joliette.
One of the challenges inherent to the act of collecting is certainly restoration. Recently, we called upon the Centre de conservation du Québec to restore the work The Good Shepherd by Mexican painter Antonio de Torres, painted in 1723. In addition to a large laceration in the center of the canvas that needed to be repaired, the painting needed a good cleaning. During the pre-cleaning examination, the conservator discovered iconographic elements that were hidden under layers of paint and revealed them. Indeed, "infrared photography suggested that overpainting hid a lamb carried on the pastor's shoulders (Restoration Report, CCQ, 2020)."
Plaster, rendering, varnish, lime, marble powder... In art, the number and variety of layers can be surprising. Delacroix's paintings in the church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris have up to a dozen layers, including paint, oil and resin. On some older works, for example, we can find plaster-based coatings, wax. And in the case of murals in churches, it is not uncommon to find heavy layers of foreign matter, such as candle smoke, torch smoke and greasy dust.
In this call for entries, we propose to put your finger on what is made up around you and what is not. What do we generally wear makeup in our lives; what would we like to dare to remove? Do we always know what is made up and what is not, even when it comes to ourselves? And if we cleaned the layers, and revealed more, what would we see? Does removing makeup lighten or weigh down?