LA Art Labs expands into the heart of WeHo with an additional 4000 sqft of indoor space!

With this expansion, we have made it a priority to create a beautiful workspace that not only fosters professional growth, but also personal fulfillment. The extra square footage also allowed us to invest in state-of-the-art equipment and technology.

The new space will also allow us to establish a residency in 2024 that provides art conservators and artists with the opportunity to work, create, and collaborate in a supportive environment in Los Angeles.

What we have been up to:

Here, Jenna is using a precision tool by RH Conservation Engineering for the Winfried-Heiber thread by thread tear-mending process. In a meticulous approach, she recovers the canvas‘ former weave pattern, thread count and threat distance while using a binocular microscope and a variety of dental tools and weights. This technique aims to reestablish the continuity of the weave and was developed in opposition to the more invasive lining or patching techniques, following the principle of minimal intervention.

Another newer acquisition are the low-energy precision heat transfer Precision Mat by our friends Tomas Maar and Nina Olsson. In this picture, Elizabeth is applying a mid-sized IMAT to an area with planar distortions in the paint matrix to correct these. 
“The IMAT project aims to integrate the cutting edge research in nanotechnology with that of cultural heritage conservation for the development of new advanced conservation techniques and materials.”

In the context of new treatment methodologies and materials, we oftentimes execute extensive tests to ensure the highest level of certainty and confidence in our treatment designs; testing has always played a crucial role in the conservation field, highlighting its importance in ensuring quality, safety, and performance.In this image, Laura systematically tests a variety of pigments and binders at different ratios for inpainting purposes.

Documentation is a critical aspect of conservation practices, as it helps to preserve and manage the art that is in our care. Here, Katie and Laura are working from one of the new communal work spaces. Here are some of our key responsibilities:

– Record Keeping
– Conservation Planning
– Preventive Conservation
– Research and Analysis
– Legal and Ethical Compliance
– Knowledge Sharing and Education

A note of gratitude

As we step into the new year, I want to express our deepest gratitude; reflecting on a year of growth and incredible projects, it wouldn’t be possible without the unwavering support of our cherished clients and collaborators. 

Here’s to another year of shared successes and meaningful partnerships. Grateful for each step of this continuous journey together.

❤ Kamila and the LAAL Team

Los Angeles Times article about my research and LA Art Labs: Saving art with Science

My research and LA Art Labs made it onto the front page of the LA Times – click here to read it! An excerpt from the fantastic article by the talented Sonja Sholklapper:

When she began chasing Saturn Yellow, Korbela still worked full time at LACMA, splitting her days between Stella’s pieces and works by Yayoi Kusama, Joan Mitchell, John Singer Sargent, Rufino Tamayo and Pablo Picasso.

Now, she runs her own conservation company, LA Art Labs, and must wait for grants and squeeze tests in on the side — a process that will probably take months.

Even after all of that, the hunt for vintage Saturn Yellow might not be over.

“We will have to do more analysis to find those perfect matches,” Korbela said. “It’s a field that’s very much still in its baby shoes.”

X Kamila

Kamila Korbela, paintings conservator and researcher, in front of Bampur by Stella at LACMA
Paintings Conservator Kamila Korbela saves art with science.

Developing a Preservation Strategy for two paintings by Edvard Munch

I was just referenced in the recent publication ‘Edvard Munch – Between the Clock and the Bed’ by the brilliant researcher Mille Stein. Prompted by this situation, I would like to point to my contribution to the book ‘Public Paintings by Edvard Munch and his Contemporaries: Change and Conservation Challenges’.

My paper focuses on five paintings by Edvard Munch in the collection of the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen. Two paintings suffered from complex structural problems, as local crack patterns, flaking, and paint loss have been a constant issue, even after repeated selective consolidation. As all treatments have thus been of limited success in the long term, I identified the causes of this recurrent problem in order to develop a strategy to ensure the paintings’ stability in the future.

The clarification of structures in the two deteriorated paintings not only helped to substantiate the presumptions about their physical and chemical deterioration, but also complemented the existing body of research into Munch’s oeuvre for an understanding of degradation processes in his paintings.

To purchase the book click here.

For a look inside the book click here.

X Kamila

As part of the investigation, this Munch painting has been examined in detail, visually and by multispectral imaging techniques. The left photograph shows the same Munch painting in ultraviolet light and the right photograph in strong raking light.


 

Revealing the Secrets of a Master Flower Painter

I examined and restored a panel painting by the German-Dutch flower and still-life painter Abraham Mignon (1640-1679) at the Conservation Department of the National Gallery of Denmark during preparations for the exhibition Flowers and World Views.

The artistic quality of Mignon’s meticulously detailed works had disappeared under thick layers of yellowed varnish and discoloured overpaint. This project was an opportunity to remove the old restorations in order to reveal the virtuosity of Mignon’s works.

Read my entire story here by clicking on this link. 

X Kamila


 

Conservation: One on One

This film offers insight into a conservator’s working process. See how I analysed and restored a panel painting by the German-Dutch flower and still-life painter Abraham Mignon (1640-1679) at the Conservation Department of the National Gallery of Denmark, and how hidden stories are unveiled.

X Kamila

Producer: Mathilde Schytz Marvit
Director/camera/editing/sound/light: Alexandra Kristjansen
Music: Frederik Strunk
Grafic: Louise Springborg
Content: Kamila Marta Korbela