gert van oortmerssen

During my study of Art History at the University of Groningen from 1982 to 1988, I developed a strong commitment to conservation and restoration of cultural heritage. In the light of that interest, I took on an internship during the course of my studies at the Central Laboratory for the Research of Art Objects (then CL, nowadays called RCE). My master’s thesis focused on the subject of material studies of art objects as well.

Practically contemporarily, from 1984 to 1989, I enrolled in an evening course in interdisciplinary art at the Academy for Art (Minerva) in Groningen. The emphasis during the course was on the discipline of painting.
Conservation and restoration have been an important source of inspiration for my sculptural wall reliefs and paintings from the middle of the eighties onwards. More traditional subjects in painting, such as reality and illusion, frames and the reflection on art history also offer leads for my work.
In 1997, an extensive catalogue, titled ‘beHANGEN beSTAAN’ (wallpapered existence, literally), was published. It contained an overview of my visual research up till that point in writings and images. A digital version of the catalogue can be viewed under publications & press.

From the middle of the nineties, my interests gradually broadened to connecting text/images and typography. The World Art Channel (WAC) inspired the design of logos and typographical elements. This eventually led to the creation of canvasses in which the tension between filmic illusion and typography is a recurring theme.

In the part time position at the Groningen Institute for Archaeology (University of Groningen) that I acquired in 1994, I have been working on the restoration and conservation of artefacts from archaeological excavations. In accordance to that, I perform material analyses on archaeological ceramics and metal.