Niki de Saint Phalle’s Shooting Picture is a mixed media work completed when first displayed in Paris in 1961. Spectators shot at the work with the .22 rifle provided, causing the plaster on a mesh support to fracture and release liquid paint held in plastic bags beneath its surface. The resulting object is fragile, with ongoing mechanical failure of the plaster elements. Its selection as a highlight of Tate Liverpool’s retrospective of the artist in 2008 gave the perfect opportunity for a thorough investigation. Plaster, pigments and media were identified through instrumental analysis. Plaster samples and replicas were created to test aqueous consolidants, assessed empirically and visually by high-resolution SEM. The samples were subjected to drop tests to indicate the object’s fragility, and a customised packing system was created to enable safe travel and display.
This is a metadata only record.