Chelsea galleries are getting back on their feet; dumpsters filled with rotting drywall no longer line the streets and while the hum of generators is still noticeable, the neighborhood looks like it is recovering. Gallery owners can now turn their attention to next steps for artworks they pulled from the water a few days ago.
Professor Michele Marincola took Conservation Center students Desirae Peters, Margarita Berg and Melissa Tan to Chelsea today to help one such gallery, Lennon Weinberg Gallery. Two large acrylic paintings by French artist Frédérique Lucien, Simple Temps Blanc Diptych II NY (2009) had been stored rolled in the gallery basement, and one end of each roll had become wet when fresh water backed up into the space. The gallery had hung each part of the diptych on cleats on the wall to dry, but the ends of the long canvas wrapped around cardboard tubes were still wet. We spent the afternoon carefully unrolling each painting completely and laying them on blotting paper to absorb the moisture. Once the paintings are fully dry, the gallery can re-roll the paintings on the new tubes we prepared, so they can then safely be transported to a conservator’s studio for treatment.