MoMA
Posts tagged ‘CHILD’
Resurrection: The Conservation Treatment of Bruce Conner’s CHILD
From left: 1960 photograph of CHILD by Geoffrey Clements; 2015 photograph of CHILD prior to conservation treatment; CHILD after treatment in January 2016.

From left: 1960 photograph of CHILD by Geoffrey Clements; 2015 photograph of CHILD prior to conservation treatment; CHILD after treatment in January 2016

In the summer of 2014 the Department of Painting and Sculpture approached sculpture conservation to inquire if Bruce Conner’s work CHILD could be restored. CHILD was created in 1959 as a response to the sentencing of death-row inmate Caryl Chessman who had been incarcerated for the kidnapping and sexual molestation of a woman in Los Angeles. Conner responded to this high-profile capital punishment case and his visceral repulsion to it by creating a frightening sculpture of a deformed corpse-like child. Made from casting wax, the figure appears strapped to a wooden highchair with belt and twine, the head tilted backwards with a gaping or screaming mouth, and body veiled in torn and stretched nylon stockings.