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New Art Materials for a New World

Research Open House 2022

Eleonora Del Federico
Lisa Banner, History of Art and Design
Adelaide Steinfeld, BFA HAD ’20
Dr. Nick Barbi, nSynergies, Inc.
Prof. Alexej Jerschow, NYU
Elvia Liporace, NYU
Dr. Renato Miracco, Curator
Alissa Yong, NYU
The research team especially wishes to acknowledge the contributions and support of Cindie Kehlet, Carole Sirovich, Margaret Dy-So, Sarah Nunberg, Chris Jensen, Daniele De Pontes, Mark Beckman, Gaetano Pesce, Thomas Schutte, STEAMplant, the Stockman Family Foundation, and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. In addition, we wish to acknowledge the work of Pratt alumni Megan Welchel, BA HAD ’10; Amelia Catalano, BA HAD ’11; and Gary Cullen, MFA Fine Arts ’05.
School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Mathematics and Science

student at computer running analysis on a painting.
Alissa Yong performing an XRF imaging experiments on one of Isolani’s paintings.

In the early 20th century there was a call to experiment with new materials and break free from the long-standing traditional methods of artmaking. This call was a reaction to the great technological advances taking place at the time.

group of researchers standing at a computer with painting behind them.
Alissa Yong, Elvia Liporace and Nick Barbi setting up an x-ray fluorescence experiment.

In this study we present the results of a scientific investigation of the early Isolani collection through the use of x-ray and infrared technology.

x-ray view of a painting.
X-ray maps show the distribution of individual elements in the painting.

The purpose of this work is to better understand the material makeup of Isolani’s paintings and sculptures as he explored new materials.