Science and Art: The Contemporary Painted Surface

Editors: Antonio Sgamellotti, Brunetto Giovanni Brunetti, Costanza Miliani

Science and art are increasingly interconnected in the activities of the study and conservation of works of art. Science plays a key role in cultural heritage, from developing new analytical techniques for studying the art, to investigating new ways of preserving the materials for the future.

Following on from the 2014 title Science and Art: The Painted Surface, this book consists of a series of chapters written together by scientists, art historians, conservators, curators and artists dedicated to conservation, execution techniques, languages and conceptual topics. Science and Art: The Contemporary Painted Surface largely covers execution techniques, material’s conservation and languages of artists, representative of twelve different countries, all protagonists of the development of innovative significant techniques and methodologies.


The book opens with a focus on widely historicized artists, such as Jackson Pollock, Lucio Fontana, Enrico Baj, Piero Manzoni and Joseph Albers. Its core is dedicated to the work of major worldwide renowned living artists, in a perspective that, while considering the Sixties as the historical starting point of contemporaneity, does not neglect to offer a view on the work done in the immediately preceding years. Several interviews with artists are included. Final chapters are dedicated to contemporary design, net art, and painted surfaces in contemporary architecture.

Presented in an easily readable form for a large audience, the book guides readers into new areas uncovered by the link between science and art, and will be of interest to artists, art historians and curators, as well as those who appreciate art.

Science and art are increasingly linked to the study and conservation of works of art. With an emphasis on current artists, the reader will learn about how these protagonists developed new and meaningful techniques, innovative methodologies and artistic languages. With contributions from art historians, curators, scientists and artists, this book will appeal to those scientifically interested in the area, students studying art conservation as well as those actively working in conservation science of contemporary art

Royal Society of Chemistry

Reviews of Science and Art: The Painted Surface

Science and Art provides an excellent read for art historians, who will instantly recognise the famous pieces that have been studied, while giving them insight into how a painting was constructed, what it is made from, or how the colours would have looked when they were freshly painted.’
Chemistry World, 6 November 2014


Science and Art is recommended for students, teachers, and the general public who are interested in chemistry or other sciences and art, as well as applications of the former to the latter.’
J. Chem. Educ., 2016, 93(5), 810–810