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Thread: how to display color 30x40s

  1. #1

    how to display color 30x40s

    I need to send a gallery a 30x40 type-c print. They want it to "conservation standards" but window matting seems impractical. I've seen the general negative response to dry mounting in this forum but i've seen pieces in musuems that are mounted on some type of board with out any glass or plex for protection. What should i do?

  2. #2

    how to display color 30x40s

    You can have it face mounted, cold mount to 1/4" clear acrylic. This seems like the popular choice as of the last 5 years in galleries. Andreas Gursky's giant C-prints are mounted this way. Archival? not sure, but the C-print isn't archival anyway.

  3. #3

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    how to display color 30x40s

    I have sold some 30x40 mounted flush (no borders, "full bleed") on 1/2 foamcore. Optional is clear glossy overlay to protect from UV and fingerprints. They look gorgeous as is, but they will mount nicely in Nielsen 97 aluminum frame for better portability/stability.

  4. #4
    tim atherton's Avatar
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    how to display color 30x40s

    Face mounting is certainly one way to go for large Dye Coupler prints. Paul Grahams recent show at MOMA's PS! was done this way, as are most of the large Gursky and Struth photographs I've seen. The Diasec process seems to be popular with one crowd, though the cold Seal mounting process seems as popular now. It would appear it has no serious effects on the longevity of chromogenic dye coupler prints (presumably you are using something like Ultra Endura?). Indeed, it appears it may actually enhance longevity by protecting the front surface of the print. The one weak spot is the outer surface of the acrylic/plexi itself - which is susceptible to damage - then what do you do....

    But why not let the gallery do the mounting to their requirements, in consultation and agreement with yourself?
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn

    www.photo-muse.blogspot.com blog

  5. #5
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    how to display color 30x40s

    You can certainly do a window mount. Mat boards are available in 40x60 inch size in the USA and equivalent sizes in other countries. That's easily enough for a window mounted 30x40. You'll want the window mat itself to be 8 ply - it just looks better at that size.

    For a good current definition of "conservation standards" in framing a print, try this:

    http://lcweb.loc.gov/preserv/care/mat.html

    YMMV of course, but it *is* hard to argue with the Library of Congress.

    Curators tend to object to anything that is not reversible. That's why they don't particularly like dry mounting. I find this interesting because there is research coming out now that shows that dry mounting prints makes them last longer because the mat board slows down penetration by pollutants coming in from the back of the print. Curators are a conservative lot though, and this will have to be shown without doubt before they begin to believe. As it should be probably. This is why they probably will object to face mounting, lamination, lacquer coatings, etc. They aren't reversible.

    All that said, I think Tim has the right idea. Ask the gallery to specify what they mean by "conservation standards." Make them be explicit. If you can (particularly if you aren't paying for it) get them to do it. Then they'll get exactly what they want and you won't be stuck playing mind reader ;-)

    Bruce Watson

  6. #6

    how to display color 30x40s

    The idea of face mounting is kind of counter-intuitive for me. I thought that that it was harmful to a print to be in contact with glass, in a frame for instance. I have been looking on the web all day about this and it seems that the adhesive used to face-mount is completely clear and is used to keep the print flat and also to adhere another piece to the back to sandwich the print. Am i not understanding this properly? The reason i am confused is that if that is the case, and i don't want any borders around the picture but a frame, why would you use the adhesive at all? One could simply sandwich the print between two pieces and use clips or something to keep it together if no frame was wanted. Am i totally off base, or is that a totally legitement option. That way you could also change the front piece if it was ever damaged. Is the concern that it would warp? By the way, i use Fuji Crystal Archive. Thanks for the help too.

    Oh and i tried to reach the gallery and due to "unplanned travel" they wont be available to talk to until it is past the deadline. I am open to matting but I just thought being so large and glossy that any waviness would make them hard to see(not to mention 40x60 is larger than the dimensions allowed for this because it is a group show) anyway, thanks for the advice

  7. #7
    tim atherton's Avatar
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    how to display color 30x40s

    there are various reason Luke - generally, it is used for very large prints where almost whatever you are putting it on is likely to shift/warp somewhat. Sandwiching the two is likely to leave you with some areas where the print touches the plexi and other areas where it doesn't. It is quite often done with just the front layer of plexi and no second backing layer.

    It is also often used as a display mount in it's own right without framing.

    A good example of what can go wrong with very large pieces: We had some large 5'x6' type pieces comes up to the Museum here as part of a travelling exhibition. The prints were mounted in a tradition sort of way (not dry mounted to a backing, with a Nielsen type frame, mat etc). There was either enough flex in the back, or the print itself just warped slightly due to the changes in temperature during shipping that the centre of a couple of pieces had come into contact with the inside of the glass. Moisture had formed at this spot and destroyed the emulsion of the print where it had touched - as well as left a residue on the inside of the glass... And this was work that had been mounted and framed by the National Gallery of Canada.

    One thing with the face mounting, is that because of the direct contact between the face of the print and the acrylic with the barrier of the mounting "glue" is that many artists feel it gives and added depth, richness and "glow" to the colours of the print. This certainly seems so with the ginat "Gursky's" I've seen at the Tate Modern
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn

    www.photo-muse.blogspot.com blog

  8. #8

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    how to display color 30x40s

    Unfortunately I can confirm your experience with large traditionally hung and overmatted C-prints - I never could get 30x40s stable enough not to warp or do something self destructive. Maybe in a controlled environment 24/7/365 but in the real world I'm afraid I'd just laminate it to something as archival as possible and call it art.

  9. #9
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    how to display color 30x40s

    Tim brings up another excellent point. If the framed work is going to be boxed and shipped, it's probably impossible to keep the print off the glazing while in transit. To keep it off the glass, you have to control the print, and about the only way to do that is to mount the print to a backing board. If that's the kind of treatment the print is going to get, I would certainly entertain the idea of dry mounting it to a 4 or 8 ply mat board. That, and an 8 ply window mat, should keep it off the glazing.

    Tim, I'm curious - did the Nat. Gallery actually use glass, or was it acrylic? Most galleries and museums really shy away from glass for fear of destroying the artwork if the glass shatters in an accident.

    Speaking of glazing, I should mention that most "conservation standards" specifiy that the print has to be behind some sort of glazing that blocks UV light. The reason being the light, and particularly UV, damages prints and papers.

    Bruce Watson

  10. #10

    how to display color 30x40s

    luke there are several issues to think about concerning face mounting of prints. first is the aesthetic and how the diasec(plexi) makes the image appear. the next is where to have it done.the process one sees with gursky, struth, et al is a specific process that was developed in switzerland and is liscensed to specific labs....and according to tests conducted supeior to some other methods that are commonly practiced by labs here in the usa. the process used by greiger lab in dusseldorf has a silicone binder..in most other cases (in the usa) an adhesive "film" is used and thought to be less stable over long term. upon asking the lab in dusseldorf about the "archival" issues they felt that the superior method for longevity was not mounting the print at all,next best according to them was the diasec face mount. all this being said i recently did a show with prints that were 45"x61" and also 65"x88" and i had the prints mounted in a traditional manner (on the verso) used a large white border of the paper to "float" the image and had a frame with a 1/2" spacer - so the print had space between the plexi and the surface. i personally do not care for the face mount look...it seems cheap and commercial to me and also scratching the plexi was an issue for pieces that are shipped.

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