Barbara Uppenkamp: " Lost Places: west-eastern Caprices "

Kerstin Vornmoors artwork is based on drawings some of which were made some years ago. Repeatedly, faces, shapes and ornamentation appear in different contexts, they are multiplied and combined in ever new combinations. 

Screen printed fabrics loosely hang down from the ceiling and the lower end rests on the floor, this results in elegant folds that bring gothic madonna figures to mind. A delicate breath of air transforms the light fabric into moving sculptures. In the partly large format oil paintings, Vornmoor bridges the boundaries between line, area and space by combining pictorial and print graphic techniques. The superimposed shapes of the drawings, oil paintings and acrylic paintings with their bright, partly brilliant colours result in contrasts that are radiant and attractive. The printed and painted ornamental forms refer to the commonalities of Western and Oriental art. During this print graphic technique the canvas is on the floor and the painting is an elaborate and strenuous act as the work is done in a bent posture. 

A startling impression of spatiality arises from the strong contrasts of the superimposed colours. The same template also applies in Couple . Here the forms are apparently mirrored and move to each other. The simple colour of the couple in black and white reveals the apparent reflection as a reversal. One of the couples appears to be joined at the middle - at least there is a touch point, while the second couple seems to drift apart. Here the shapes are separated from each other and only remain with in the vicinity of their partner.

The large format light coloured oil painting middle of life, shines out in the colours of pink, yellow, white, red and green. On a background of pink clouds some kind of cogwheel seems to float, the repeating ornamental form is a circle with a jagged edge, which surrounds several circles or star shaped forms. The oil paint is applied with a screen printing screen and is superimposed in a relief like manner and the result is a graduation from darker reds to bright pink and yellow tones. A layer of green grey forms that here and there blur thru the soft pink colour therefore allowing cloudy colours to glimmer through. 

This is reminiscent of the old masters background technique, Peter Paul Rubens (1577−1640) for example, when he painted skin or parts of the flesh he used delicate pinks on a green grey background thus giving a variety of shades. Depending on the light, the deep colour layers become more visible or recede behind the red and the white shapes on the surface, whose intertwined masses seem like a glance through a microscope into the world of the smallest beings which are invisible to the naked eye.

The high format painting Ornamental Jeff Koons, shows a tuberous structure of polluted greens and pink coloured ovals or ellipses. They are applied to a canvas on the back of which is a (discarded) painting, traces of colour from the painting penetrate and stain the front contributing significantly to the character of the picture. The worn out shabby cloth stained with indefinable substances becomes an interesting image carrier for the far from flawless ellipses. 

A direct reference to Jeff Koons is barely noticeable, rather the tuberous image seems like an ironic comment to Koons, and appears on high gloss polished stainless steel sculptures composed of elliptical or oval forms.

The Sounds of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel) titled picture is a painting with several oriental looking ornament forms gathered and are screen printed in powerful green, violet, ocher and white on a dark background. In part the application is again blurred so that only through the different treatment of the material a body of colour space is produced as defined by Gotthard Graubners(1930−2013). 

Lazarus(David Bowie) next to it appears almost monumental. It is a diptych consisting of two lightly primed in white canvas of high rectangular format, both canvas were simultaneously processed and using screen printing techniques. 

Polka dots, cogwheels and rhombuses in bright luminous colours have been applied on the background.

In some areas  Vornmoor has smudged and worked the still damp colour, cloudy patches have emerged from which pointed contoured colour raises out. Although developed and thought out in a work process as a diptych either canvas can exist as an individual single work of art, their belonging together is recognisable by the entire distribution of the surface and the adjoining colour fields with the sense of continuous movement of the artistic hand and shared gesture, which results in the seemingly accidental appearance of a pattern. 

The printed length of material Dream can be seen in context with Lazarus (David   Bowie). Here Vornmoor uses the same bright colours and print.  In contrast to the framed paintings, the material of Dreams is a light, unprimed linen fabric. The cloth loosely hangs from the ceiling with the lower end against the floor. The fabric seems transparent so that the print is repeated in soft shadows on the back, the floating movement of the length of fabric reminds of the fluttering hem of the nymphs of Italian early renaissance. 

Into the room they bring a female impulse, a fresh movement and emotion.

Light is also a work using printed lengths of fabric, the images applied using screen printing techniques are printed over each other in powerful colours resulting in a spatial effect in that they seem to detach themselves from the floor and float before the material. The different textile quality produces different light effects. The ornamental shapes developed from older drawings form the basis of already existing images, these are illustrations from a book of anatomy and role models out of the history of art, including christian motifs. Effectively, the spellbound ornamental figures look oriental. The often repeated motif in the work Light, also forms the basis for the drawing in Odradek (disguised). (Odradek is a character from Franz Kafkas(1883 - 1924) short story, The Cares of a Family Man, taken from the published in his lifetime volume, A Country Doctor (1919). )Odradek „ appears senseless but in its kind complete“. It is alive, can speak, but only responds to questions sporadically. 

Odradek has inspired numerous modern artists. In Vornmoors drawing Odradek is disguised and on many occasion appears baffled. It seems to be a multi membered image in powerful pink on a white background, which could be inspired by Ernst Haeckels (1834−1919), Art Forms in Nature (1904). The multi membered and organic aspect, sea anemone like, makes think of the short story by Kafka a country doctor, in which a patient has a deadly side wound in which sea anemones resemble twisting maggots.

Waschmaschine ( Niels Frevert), I started  a Joke   (Bee Gees) and People  help  the People (Birdy)form a workgroup where the same printing template was used. Washing machine ( Niels Frevert) is printed on silver paper from which the white rosette barely stands out. I started a Joke (Bee Gees) uses the same template with indian yellow colour printed on white paper combined with the form of Vulva  which was developed using an illustration from a book of anatomy. Here, organic and abstract geometric shapes are superimposed. People help the People (Birdy), shows the rosette printed twice in dark red and pink displaced against each other, they are two similar individuals that are interlocked and in contact with each other. Je t’aimais, je t’aime, je t’aimerai (Francis Cabrel), shows a cluster of delicate violet, yellow green, but mostly white and black polka dots and rhombuses that fragment out of a cloudy blue background. Through the blurring of individual parts the painting is given a sculpture like depth effect. 

Sweet Life (Frank Ocean) and Wuthering Heights (Kate Bush) have been created in a similar way, however, they show a different colour spectrum and a different density and distribution of the rhombuses and dots on the picture. Of them all Wuthering Heights (Kate Bush), is the most dense, it has a dark green background and bright green has been smudged on the edges to give a blurred border to the fields of colour. The entire picture has rhombuses and dots randomly spread in powerful red, violet, light red, turquoise and white. The smaller square format Summertime Sadness (Lana del Rey) (¬12) and Message Personnel (Françoise Hardy) , resemble in colour, a light blue background, Je t‘aimais, Je t‘aime, je t‘aimerai (Francis Cabrel), and take on the dynamic of the sprinkled dots and rhombuses. 

The same print template is used for this brightly coloured acrylic paint on canvas work.Out from the titles of the paintings and drawings emerges a very strange inaudible soundtrack that can be consider whilst looking at the pictures. The song titles are songs that Vornmoor has possibly listened to during the creation but only after the works were finished did they seem to fit together. The titles lend the works a further invisible dimension which gives a defiant, melancholic, cheerful or ironic undertone, which can only be opened up by listening to these songs. 

Dr. Barbara Uppenkamp