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Alchemy, a large-scale, sumptuously-textured painting by the Abstract Expressionist Jackson Pollock has returned to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice after undergoing an extensive conservation. The work, one of Pollock’s earliest poured paintings, traveled to Florence’s Opificio delle Pietre Dure (Hard Stone Factory), where it underwent an analytical study, cleaning, and conservation. The painting’s surface, which features dense layers of enamel, alkyd, oil paint, twine, sand, and pebbles, had been dulled by dirt and grime that had accumulated over the years.

For the duration of the exhibition, Alchemy by Jackson Pollock: Discovering the Artist at Work, the painting is being presented without glass or plexiglas, providing an unprecedented look at the restored work’s astonishly vivid colors and sculptural surface. Visitors are guided through every technical aspect of the conservation process thanks to a multimedia installation that features video, 3D reproductions, touch-screens, interactive devices, and documentation and original items loaned from Pollock’s studio at the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center in Long Island.

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