The Easel

Broken intentions: on damaged contemporary art

Minor touch ups to repair damaged paintings, especially old paintings, is generally accepted. Conserving contemporary works, by comparison, is a minefield. Did the artist want a “broken” look? What if, on consulting the artist, their “poetics” have changed? And what happens where an artist (think Donald Judd) rejects authorship of a work not assembled exactly as they wish. Yup, it’s a minefield.