Curated by Luciano Pensabene Buemi and Roberto Bellucci

(Pollock was) I think by far my most honorable achievement.

- Peggy Guggenheim, Out of This Century (London: Andre Deutsch, 1979)

Following a year-long absence, Jackson Pollock’s Alchemy—one the museum’s masterpieces and a landmark for American Abstract Expressionism—returned to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. The work was studied and examined at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Florence, in collaboration with a team of eleven Italian research institutions engaged in the field of conservation. Curators Luciano Pensabene Buemi, Conservator of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and Roberto Bellucci, Conservator at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Florence, presented the results of the long process of cleaning and the technical aspects of the conservation project. The results are presented in an interactive installation, offering insights into the science of conservation and into Pollock’s working methods. Above all, it is the first opportunity to see the painting in its original splendor after the lengthy operation of surface cleaning.

'Alchemy' by Jackson Pollock. Discovering the Artist at Work

The multi-media installation introduces the public to the painting’s pigments and binders, Pollock’s working methods, and the processes of conservation. Video, 3D reproductions, touch-screens, interactive kiosks, as well as documentation and original items loaned from Pollock’s studio at the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, Long Island, bring Pollock’s masterpiece to life, with its thickly encrusted paint surface and its palette of no fewer than 19 different pigments. Thanks to a protracted and detailed study of Alchemy, the exhibition offers new insights into Pollock and his painting, furthering our understanding of the personality of this artist who combined traditional materials and methods with original and unconventional practices.

February 19, 2015
11:30am and 3pm
Roberto Bellucci
February 26, 2015
11:30am and 3pm
Luciano Pensabene Buemi
March 5, 2015
11:30am and 3pm
Costanza Miliani, Francesca Rosi of CNR-ISTM, Perugia; SMAArt, Perugia
Responsible for XRF, Raman, FT-IR, UV-Vis absorption and emission studies
March 12, 2015
11:30am and 3pm
Matteo Dellepiane of ISTI-CNR Pisa
Responsible for three-dimensional scanning and the construction of the 3D model
March 19, 2015
11:30am and 3pm
Luciano Pensabene Buemi, Peggy Guggenheim Collection
and Francesca Bettini, Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Florence,
who carried out the conservation and cleaning of Alchemy
March 26, 2015
11:30am and 3.00pm
Giancarlo Lanterna and Raffaella Fontana, Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Florence
INO-CNR, Florence
Responsible for multispectral analysis Vis-NIR, colorimetric analysis
April 2, 2015
11:30am and 3pm
Cecilia Frosinini and Roberto Bellucci, Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Florence



With the patronage of Regione del Veneto, ‘Alchemy’ by Jackson Pollock. Discovering the Artist at Work is supported by Intrapresæ Collezione Guggenheim, by Private Bank BSI and by Enel. Nec Display Solutions Italia is the main sponsor of the exhibition, with Océ- A Canon Company as technical sponsor Thanks to Apice, Corriere della Sera and Hangar Design Group for the collaboration. The educational projects surrounding the exhibition are made possible by the Fondazione Araldi Guinetti, Vaduz.