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Blue and Orange, 2011

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Henrik Simonsen

Blue and Orange, 2011


84(w) x 84(h) cm
33.07(w) x 33.07(h) inches
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INFORMATION
15-colour screenprint on acid free 300gsm Bockingford paper

Edition of 60
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Henrik Simonsen Biography

Arresting and mysterious, Henrik Simonsen's paintings of nature are obsessively accurate in form yet almost abstract in composition and hue. Depicting each fine blade of grass, delicate leaf and spindly twig within their natural habitat, they are a surreal fusion between landscape and Dutch floral still life. The significance of colour in Simonsen’s work is undeniable. Often abandoning realism in his pallet, he creates strong contrasts which allow the luminosity of the paint to sing on the canvas, at times giving the feel of a solorized photograph or alien atmosphere.

Simonsen's obsession for flora and fauna is attributed to his Scandinavian roots due to the region’s long standing tradition for art, design and architecture inspired by natural forms. He is also fascinated by elements of the French 'Rococo' style, especially its lack of structure, and the way it embraced the bizarre and beautiful, opulently celebrating the organic and the sensuous. This influence can be seen in works such as tapestry (2008) & inbetween (2008) where he uses repetitive motifs resembling those found in the period.

Inspired by the stories of his compatriot, Hans Christian Andersen, Simonsen interweaves dark and humerus elements of fairytale onto particular works. Innocently beautiful depictions of Hemlock, Henbane and Black Berry, are dressed with name tags resembling gift cards or the 'eat me' 'drink me' labels of Alice in Wonderland. A dangerous distraction to their true poisonous, psychoactive and thorny motives. Rather than serving as illustrations, the paintings borrow from Andersen’s tales to subtly hint at the prevailing folly of the human condition. “For me personally the draw of the subject matter is its inexhaustible richness and metaphorical ability to speak of human existence. Of life, passion and the brevity of existence.”

Each painting begins with what Simonsen feels is the most important part of his process, freehand drawings which he works and reworks. “The attraction to drawing stems from the directness of the mark making process and the simple, yet magical way lines on a surface create shapes and forms.” Creating the work is an organic process itself; the elements and materials ‘grow’ onto the canvas by splashing, pouring and brushing the paint in layers. Nothing is erased and the fine monochrome lines of graphite from the original drawing contrast with with the bolder hues and textures of the oils. This visible history is important, as Simonsen feels it gives the painting a sense of having occupied a period in time.

Born in Denmark in 1974, Simonsen studied art in his native country before spending two years studying in New York and then at Exeter College of Art and Design. He has exhibited his work in group shows throughout the UK, in America and in his native Denmark. He has shown his work alongside his collage peers Dan Baldwin and Antony Micallef. He was invited along with artists such as Carl Andre, Anthony Gormley and Gerard Richter to create a unique piece for the permanent collection of SONS museum in Belgium’s. He currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany.


Read our series of articles
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OTHER WORKS BY THIS ARTIST
 
NEWS ARTICLES
ABOUT THIS ARTIST
October 7th 2015
Next week sees the opening of Henrik Simonsen’s solo show of original paintings at the prestigious Wally Findlay gallery in Manhattan. Eyestorm are proud to have been working with Henrik for a number of years, publishing many limited edition screenprints with him, our first being ‘Blue and Orange’ in 2011.
November 30th 2012
Today we’re excited be presenting Henrik Simonsen’s new limited edition screenprint Fragile. His largest print to date at 120 x 100 cm, the stunning piece features multi-coloured butterflies settling on the branches of a tree in winter to give the appearance of autumn leaves.
March 20th 2016
Inspired by colour in nature, our new exclusive limited edition screenprints by Danish artist Henrik Simonsen depict the progression of a sunny day. Read more about the work below.
August 29th 2015
Henrik Simonsen’s new screenprint edition Red Leaves sees the artist use a vibrant colour palette of turquoise and red combined with more organic tones to illustrate and explore the delicate and fragile nature of all things living.
RECENT NEWS ARTICLES
September 23rd 2016
‘Culture Clash’ is Jacky Tsai’s much anticipated solo exhibition in New York. Read more about what to expect of this exhibition in one of Manhattan’s most artistic neighbourhoods.
September 10th 2016
Culture Clash is the first of the new and exclusive limited edition screenprints by Chinese artist Jacky Tsai for autumn 2016. Read the story behind the work below.
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Every time I walk into the lounge in terminal 5 in Heathrow I smile when I see Damien Hirst's… https://t.co/tJgPs2pnCL
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