Pantyhose Heaven

Article summarized from C&EN (I love it when art and science collide.)

Madeleine Berkhemer began creating sculptures from stockings back in 1997, creating abstract and elaborate displays from taut pantyhose:

Upon visiting a museum housing work by Louise Bourgeois, an artist who used stockings in her sculptures as early as the 1940s, Berkhemer noticed that Bourgeois’s work had lost its elasticity and had begun to sag – She became concerned that her own displays would meet the same fate.

While environmentalists concern themselves with the long lifetime of plastics in landfills, art conservationists rush to figure out ways to preserve these polymer-based displays.  Plastics are of the most vulnerable objects found in museums today – Their degradation not only breaks down the object itself, but it can also release harmful gaseous compounds that can affect other nearby pieces.

Art schools don’t seem to be filling the education gap – Budding artists are not being made aware of the fact that certain media have a much shorter lifetime than others.  Berkhemer states that constantly being cognizant of this could hinder your creativity, but also adds that new scientific breakthroughs with plastics could be “a big inspiration”, allowing the creation of brand new art forms.



  1. Pingback: Patty Pantyhose: Part II | Mimi Berlin

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