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Paul Brewin
05-26-2010, 02:37 PM
(posted to the ListServe Wed 5/26/10)

I would be grateful for short-term (3-4 months) installation suggestions for a thinly painted acrylic on unstretched canvas, approximately 7x12 feet. Previously the work had been stapled to the wall and I do not find that solution reasonable. And I prefer not to stretch the canvas since the "draped" quality of the work is important to the artist.

Responses to the post:

Bruce Bundock replies:
This reminds me a little bit of that post a couple of months ago on the 16 ft watercolor that was going on display-how to present it.( Curious as to how that was eventually resolved). If the "draped" quality of the work is important to the artist I have to wonder why it was previously stapled to the wall to begin with. Have you considered presenting it somewhat like a scroll? That is, top and bottom gets a dowel and how you attach the canvas is up to you. If you can't obtain a dowel that long, you might want to consider two lengths of a hard wood for both the top and bottom of the canvas. You sandwich just the top and bottom parts of the canvas between the widths of the hard wood ( I wish I could draw you a diagram)secure the 2 widths at strategic points with fasteners of your choosing so the edge of the canvas is tightly held primarily by pressure. If that's not acceptable, one colleague on the list serve ( getting back to the watercolor) had suggested spring clips for hanging. Same might work for the canvas. Is the canvas heavy or light weight?

Peter Briggs replies:
Uncertain what you intend by "draped" and conscious of the weight of such a quantity of canvas, I wonder if rare earth magnets might be worth investigating. Available in various sizes, shapes, and strengths, they can be used to hold paper and canvas to ferrous fasteners (nails, thumb tacks, etc.) driven into a wall at points at appropriate intervals - determined by size, weight, and thickness of the support material and the strength of the magnets being used - corresponding to the inside perimeter of the art. Small tabs of sheet barrier material can be used to keep the art out of direct contact with the magnets and the anchors. Properly prepared rare earth magnets - e.g., degreased and surface-abraded if they're nickel-plated - can be painted to be less conspicuous. In a more complex approach, small pockets could be sewn to the back of the canvas to hold the magnets.

Dale Kronkright replies:
I have worked through this problem before. Our solution was to prepare a Gator Fome panel just under the hanging dimension of the work. For the Gator Fome panel, we biscuit-joined and glued two panels to get the size and attached a sanded but unfinished poplar surround on the edges. We faced the panel by stabling polyester micro-fiber pajama fleece to the recto of the panel, to give a nappy support to the Gator Fome panel. A French-cleat was attached across the top of the verso of the Gator-Fome panel and a poplar spacer at the bottom, so that the work hung parallel to the wall, when finally hung.

Next, we BEVA mounted 5” wide x 12 long ” strips of unprimed cotton canvas, 12” - 20” on center, to the verso of the painting, across all sides, just short of the edges, so that these could be turned-down or “hinged” onto the verso of the Gator Foam panel. To the verso of these canvas strips were sewn 4” x 2” wide, fabric-face Velcro fabric. The hook-half of the Velcro was mounted to the appropriate space on the verso of Gator Fome panel.

The length of the Velcro-faced canvas “hinging” strips allows the artist or preparator to attach the work with whatever degree of “sag” is desired, while adjusting and securing the sides and bottom in a manner that will prevent movement or slipping during the exhibition. The BEVA- mounted canvas strips can be removed from the verso of the painting with warm tacking irons after exhibition or left for future exhibitions. They remain removable indefinitely. A paintings conservator can help with all the particulars.