I recently received this question from an artist:
When is it okay to pull a painting from its stretcher with the intent of reusing the support? Some friends and I are having a disagreement over this.
Good question Jackie – I knew an artist who would give a painting a year and if it hadn’t sold he would reuse the materials (those that he didn’t smash and jump up and down on – this was a very temperamental artist!). That’s extreme. Sometimes it can take a few years for a piece to find the right home. We just sold a piece for an artist that he created 4-5 years ago.
I guess if you feel that the stretchers are worth more than the painting they’re supporting, you know it’s time to switch it up.
How long do you give a painting before you restretch or rework? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. We moderate comments to keep out spam, so it may take a few hours for your comment to appear.