Diverse woonhuizen verspreid over Ypenburg, Den Haag
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It looks like an impostor, or trompe l'oeil as it is chicly called: the enamel signs by Bert van Ommen that you see hanging on the facade here and there in Ypenburg. They feature an open window. A nighttime version and one from daytime. If you look too quickly, the window really looks like it's there in the facade and that you can step right in. Nothing could be further from the truth. While a classic trompe l'oeil was often painted directly on the wall, here the artist has applied a representation on an enamel sign.
In his early work, Van Ommen, who died young, depicted mostly nature. Over the years, that theme shifted toward the city. In his meticulous collages, he tried to bring balance and cohesion to the chaos and bustle of our urban environment. Both great masters of the 17th century (Vermeer) and modern painters (Hopper, Mondrian) were a source of inspiration for him. As did the design of model railroads, maps and aerial photographs. Not to mention the city itself.
Sketches of the surroundings on paper formed the basis for each work. Van Ommen never took photographs because, in his opinion, they contained too many superfluous details. He immediately omitted them from his sketches. On a carbon copy of his drawing he started working with colored paper. In this way he made an ingenious collage of a piece of city in a small format.
Although Van Ommen's contribution to Art at Home did not include cityscapes, his "open windows" do bear similarities to his other work. All of his collages were about creating space in the flat plane. He did the same in the various versions of Open Window.