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Research Project

Material Matters

2013 – 2016

Wolf Vostell’s Concrete Traffic, 1970, in its new location at the east entrance to the University of Chicago Campus North Parking Garage.

Project Summary

The conservation and reinstallation of Wolf Vostell’s Concrete Traffic sculpture prompted a series of practical and theoretical discussions about the nature and complexities of art conservation, particularly when dealing with unusual materials.

Research Team

Bill Brown

Bill Brown

Karla Scherer Distinguished Service Professor in American Culture

University of Chicago

Bill Brown works at the intersection of literary, visual, and material cultures, with an emphasis on what he calls "object relations in an expanded field." Brown asks how inanimate objects enable human subjects (individually and collectively) to form and transform themselves—and indeed how...

Christine Mehring

Christine Mehring

Mary L. Block Professor of Art History and the College; Associate Faculty, Department of Visual Arts; Adjunct Curator, The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art

University of Chicago

Christine Mehring works on modern and contemporary art. Her research, writing, and teaching focus on abstraction, particularly the ways in which non-mimetic forms, colors, and non-traditional materials come to signify in relation to specific historical contexts; postwar European art, especially...

Anna Weiss-Pfau

Anna Weiss-Pfau

Campus Art and Artifacts Collections Coordinator, Conservator, Provost's Office, University of Chicago; 'Concrete Traffic' and 'SAI, Untitled: Reanimated Lot' Team Member

Lisa Zaher

Lisa Zaher

Research Associate, Neubauer Family Collegium for Culture and Society; 'Concrete Traffic' and 'SAI, Untitled: Reanimated Lot' Team Member

Project Narrative

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