on the wall: Gabriel Vormstein

1 February - 30 March 2013

The title of the exhibition Tempus fungit – amor mannet is a play on the Latin “Tempus fugit, amor manet” or “time flies, love waits.” Vormstein adds the “n” to further stress themes of decomposition and languid mannerism. This serves as a perfect illustration of Vormstein’s work, made with inherently decaying materials like newspaper, branches, and dried flowers, coupled with lovingly rendered imagery to form a narrative of beauty, affect, and desire.


The public facade of the gallery, our “on the wall” project space, will feature a large, white newspaper collage reminiscent of an aging wall or book cover. By highlighting the facade as the cover of a book, the gallery’s interior architecture becomes a blank page on which set the lyrical story that unfolds within, each artwork a protagonist in the narrative. Whether quoting Egon Schiele figures, Van Gogh’s expressionism, or modernist abstraction, the work here is predominantly painted in muted black, grey, and white, often interrupted with a splash of color. The deliberate use of white over much of the newspaper ground blurs the boundaries between the work and the walls – once again referencing the materiality of the page.


For the first time, Vormstein will also present works utilizing the medium of papier-mâché. By recycling and further disintegrating the newspaper to make a ground for painting, Vormstein stresses the concept of regeneration: that dead material can be used to create new abstract landscapes or a new bare substrate for a narrative. The literal use of book cover imagery in these works asserts the book object itself as a protagonist. Like a story by Jorge Luis Borges, Vormstein suggests the start or end of yet another story embedded within the larger narrative of the exhibition.