Ether Body: Materiality and Transcendence

Louise Cone, Birgitte Anderberg, Claus Carstensen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Ether Body, 1986, by the artist Claus Carstensen (b.1957, Denmark), is an important work in the contemporary collection of the National Gallery of Denmark, Statens Museum for Kunst. It consists of oil and dispersion paint, asphalt lacquer, urine, twigs, soft polyurethane ether foam and industrial grease on canvas. After only 33 years at the museum, the foam had reached a critical state of degradation: what once was blue, white and pink had changed color to dark orange and greenish-brown, was crumbling badly and detaching from the painting. A radical and ambitious conservation project was thus undertaken within the gallery, in an open studio, where the artist, conservator and curator worked together, not only to replace the degraded foam, but to re-start the degradation process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTranscending Boundaries: Integrated Approaches to Conservation : ICOM-CC 19th Triennial Conference Preprints, Beijing, 17–21 May 2021,
EditorsJ. Bridgland
Number of pages7
Place of PublicationParis
Publication date2021
Article number4397
ISBN (Print)978-2-491997-14-4
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventICOM-CC Triennial Conference 2021 Beijing
: MODERN MATERIALS AND CONTEMPORARY ART Ether Body: Materiality and transcendence
- Beijing, China
Duration: 17 May 202121 May 2021
Conference number: 19th


ConferenceICOM-CC Triennial Conference 2021 Beijing

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