Pollock: Degradation of White Paint

Seems another analytical study of Jackson Pollock’s painting has been completed, this time focusing on the painting ‘Alchemy’. 


Problems in conserving the art will result from the zinc oxide paint use:

they used micro-attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopic imaging to determine the damage resulting from the interaction of zinc oxide with fatty acids present in the oil binder of the painting. Even though there is little visible surface alteration, the researchers found that inside the painting, zinc soaps were growing freely not only throughout the painting stratigraphy, but in particular around a jellifying agent (aluminium stearate hydroxide) added in the paint formulation. This confirmed the hypothesis that the jellifying agent can accelerate the formation of zinc soap.