I’ve long been a fan of abstract expressionism, so when Affect was given the opportunity to work with the Clyfford Still Museum, we jumped at the chance. The museum, which opened in 2011, has always employed the use of interactive installations to help educate and entertain visitors.
Clyfford Still Museum
Art of Conservation
An important part of museums and galleries, which is generally behind-the-scenes and not visible to visitors, is the conservation and repair of paintings which have been moved and handled over the years causing significant wear and tear. The Clyfford Still museum brought conservation, which is an art in itself, to the forefront. Affect was tasked with giving visitors the opportunity to experience the process of conserving one of Still’s paintings that had become damaged since it was originally created.
The original painting was hung in the museum with two projectors on each side showing the original, untouched artwork. Users could then use touch screens to apply varnish, cleaning solution, and inpainting to see how it would affect the original artwork in comparison to the original. The interactive installation also provided videos to show how these techniques are used by conservation professionals.
One of Clyfford Still’s most celebrated exhibitions was at the Albright-Knox Gallery in 1959. The Clyfford Still museum used their own collection along with some pieces on loan to partially recreate the 1959 exhibition. As a companion, the entry of the exhibition had two kiosk installations where users could experience an interactive recreation of the original exhibition.
The application provided a full map of the Albright-Knox Gallery. Users could click on each section of the gallery and experience what it looked like to see each of Still’s paintings in their original installations. Using archival photography, the full collection was recreated. Users were also given a catalog of archival documents and photos to explore.