The Elusive and Transitory Materials in Contemporary Drawings
Contemporary drawings incorporate a series of artistic techniques and unconventional materials, which sometimes make it difficult not only to identify the exact nature, medium and substrates of the drawings, but also to determine their chemical and physical characteristics. The three artists chosen for this contribution—Stefano Arienti, Sandra Vásquez de la Horra and Beatriz Milhazes—are representative of contemporary creations on paper and were also selected due to the originality of their artistic techniques. Their techniques and unorthodox materials have been characterized through a series of analyses and scientific investigations, which for the most part were non-invasive. The results gathered have permitted a better understanding of their creative approach through the identification of constituent materials and execution techniques employed, in particular the identification of heated lemon juice used by Stefano Arienti, the impregnation of paper with wax resulting in different paper thickness by Sandra Vásquez de la Horra and the utilization of wrapping papers used by Beatriz Milhazes. Furthermore, beyond the analytical investigations, direct contact with the artist and historical fonts aided the documented results.