Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society Organization Logo Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society

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...

Alice Kain

Alice Kain

Art Sales Researcher

Artists' Collecting Society

Alice has worked as a registrar and curatorial assistant at a number of museums including the National Museum of Ireland, the V&A and most recently at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago. Her interests include American 20th Century sculpture and European Decorative Arts and...

Elka Krajewska

Elka Krajewska

President and founder of Salvage Art Institute, Artist; 'SAI, Untitled: Reanimated Lot' Principal Investigator

Founded by Elka Krajewska, the Salvage Art Institute (SAI) supplies a refuge for salvaged art pieces. The survival of salvage art past its total devaluation challenges our common understanding of where art ends, disturbing our sense of the distinction between art and nonart. SAI offers a...

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...

Christian Scheidemann

Christian Scheidemann

Senior Conservator and President

Contemporary Conservation

A leading conservator of contemporary art, New York–based Christian Scheidemann is the only one in the world who has built his expertise on art made from non-traditional materials. A scholar who, in his publications, draws on his art historical training, intellectual breadth, and conservation...

Amanda Trienens

Amanda Trienens

Architecture Conservator & Conservation Contractor

Cultural Heritage Conservation

Cultural Heritage Conservation was founded by Amanda Trienens whose experience has been gained from many years in the field working with a variety of historic structures and sculptures and different clients' needs and expectations to ensure the longevity of our shared cultural heritage. Ms....

Anna Weiss-Pfau

Portrait of Anna Weiss-Pfau

Anna Weiss-Pfau

Objects, Sculpture, & Collections Conservator

L.Liparini Studio & Third Coast Conservation

Anna serves as Principal and Conservator of Objects and Sculpture, and is a peer reviewed Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation. She earned her degrees in Conservation and Art History at Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario and Bradley University. Prior to...

Lisa Zaher

Lisa Zaher

Associate Professor, Adjunct Art History, Theory and Criticism

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Lisa Zaher is an art historian of modern and contemporary art and visual culture whose research and teaching focus on the history and theory of photographic media (construed broadly to include still and moving images, along with proto-cinematic devices, video and new digital platforms for...

Project Narrative

Explore

A Kerry James Marshall sculpture depicting Africa

Featured Project

Pan-Africa: Histories, Aesthetics, Politics
Explore

Continue Exploring

Artful Living Program
Explore