Matter painting

The definition or explanation of matter painting is that it the technique of using thick impasto paint into which one adds materials such as ground glass, mud, sand, floor sweepings, feathers, cement and shells.

The texture and pastose layers can be very beautiful. So what is the matter with matter painting? Not a lot other than heavy pastose painting is prone to crack, and can be difficult to restore. Add to that, restorers have difficulty reproducing the exact mix of matter to the painting medium. Finally, the exact chemistry of the mix can be unchartered territory.

The Catalan artist Antoni Tàpies’s matter paintings typically consist of thick, textured and cracked paint layers made from sand or crushed marble mixed with oil-based alkyd varnish.

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