The Hearts Series

a series of prints, paintings and drawings by Sonja van Kerkhoff, 1986-89

Hiding a heart
1988, silkscreen print on paper.
14 x 24 cm. Edition of 21
2 are available on acid-free paper, 350 euros each.
1 is available on plain paper for 250 euros.

Lying on a heart
1987, silkscreen on paper.
16 x 22 cm. Edition of 27.
5 prints are available. 200-320 euros each,
depending on the type of paper.

The print, Singing for a heart, will be added soon.

Holding a heart in my hands
1987, silkscreen print on paper.
20 x 15 cm. Edition of 30.
Three are copies still available on white acid-free paper
320 Euros plus p&p, unframed + unmounted.

2 copies on coloured paper: 250 each.

Larger views on another page

Hearts serves as symbols for the emotional self.
Figures hide hearts, lie on hearts,
hold their hearts in their hands
and radiate hearts.

Wearing a radiant heart
1988, silkscreen print + acrylic on paper.
20 x 15 cm. Edition of 25.
Five copies are available 180-300 euros each,
depending on the type of paper.
Plus p&p, unframed + unmounted.

Larger views on another page

This series was influenced by my first visit to the Netherlands in 1986, where I found people more judgmental and where appearances seemed to be more important.
In reaction to this culture shock and to wanting to express this as a theme on the role of the emotional as an aspect of identity, I put the heart, a symbol for the emotional self, on display and categorized it. But it was not just the heart of one categorized emotion, not just the romantic, nor the paternal, but rather the heart of complex identity. These hearts foreground love or openness on one level and yet mask this on another level. Such as the figure who holds up a heart. Is this a trophy or a revelation? Are the figures that hide a heart, lie on a heart, radiate or sing for a heart sincere or imitators?
In Singing for a Heart, the musician is both comic and tragic and is in a sense, a self-portrait of the emotional self.

"The heart... is "transplanted" into strange
places and used to represent a wide range of human
experience. The heart, in van Kerkhoff's hands is an
exciting and versatile image far from the slushy,
symmetrical "romantic" idea that is usually represents...

Central to van Kerkhoff's philosophy and way of
life is her belief that vulnerability is an achievement
to be aimed for rather than a sign of naivety..."

Change of Heart - Sonja van Kerkhoff,
review by F. Mullins, Critic, Otago student university weekly,
8 september 1987, Dunedin, New Zealand.

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