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HENRIK SIMONSEN | ‘Blue Grass’
May 29th 2022
To convey a moment long gone and a memory distorted by time, Henrik Simonsen chooses colour as language; presenting delightful scenery articulated by the unique Nordic light cascaded onto branches, leaves and grasses. Typical of the artist’s work, he depicts the often unnoticed occupants of the wild Scandinavian flora, elevating them to magnificence; a token of his appreciation to a landscape that has gifted an abundance of memories during his childhood. The second of three print editions circling a theme of blue - a colour the artist regularly revisits - Blue Grass is an exceptionally vibrant portrait of a small patch of nature conquered by untamed grasses.
by Henrik Riis
PRINT EDITION RELEASE
In fairy tales anything can happen. A little songbird sings the tales of foreign lands in the ear of the mighty emperor; a pathway through a hole in an old tree leads to an underground corridor lit by one hundred lamps; all while the wind above ground effortlessly shares the latest gossip with towering trees, tangled bushes and elegantly swaying grasses on open meadows. Between the lines, colour - their tints and shades - tiptoe in and discreetly play a notable role, filling the scenes with sensation. Dragonflies in gold; hemlock innocently hiding its true character behind tiny and delicate pure-white flowers; and butterfly-shaped leaves showered in the orange rays of the setting sun. Absent of words and a sharpened pen, Simonsen writes his dazzling tales with fine brushes and vibrant colour.

Inspired by the world around him it is clear that Simonsen’s subject matter reflects nature - and even more so that his colour does not. Bright, intense hues fill every corner of his works, intensified so strongly and contrasted so boldly, that they pull away from any reference to reality. When creating his artwork Simonsen set aside previous visual references - letting his imagination flow freely - and draw more from memory and instinct. Perhaps, a way to present works that have both a visual reference to nature and reality, as well as a more abstract and expressionist quality.
HENRIK SIMONSEN
Blue Grass, 2018

Edition of 60
6 Artist Proof (APs)

87(w) x 87(h) cm
34.25(w) x 34.45(h) inches
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HENRIK SIMONSEN
Blue Grass, 2018

Edition of 60
6 Artist Proof (APs)

87(w) x 87(h) cm
34.25(w) x 34.45(h) inches
ENQUIRY
Art is about speaking to each other and by making an enquiry you can have direct conversation with us about artwork you find interesting.
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Henrik Simonsen (Danish, b. 1974)

Blue Grass , 2018

87(w) x 87(h) cm
34.25(w) x 34.45(h) inches
6 layer screenprint on Somerset Satin 410gsm paper

Signed and numbered on front.

Image size: 80 x 80cm

To see larger and more detailed image (1Mb file opens in new window), please click here
Edition of 60
PRICE
$ 1,290.00
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The print edition, Blue Grass, sees the artist return to imagery he has explored in previous paintings and works on paper. The patch of long grass - flowing gently in the wind - is one that reminds him of pleasant summer days lying on his back under the crooked trees and amongst untamed vegetation. Quaking grass with their tiny bell-like flowers that shake in the slightest breeze, sweetgrass, tall slender junegrass - and nettles, plenty of nettles; a plant that possesses a special place in his heart. In Blue Grass, colour - an expression of Simonsen’s personal memories and emotions - truly takes centre stage, giving the subject matter a voice through the palette. The fierce scarlet red backdrop creates a strong contrast to the lilac, pink, purple and blue foliage, and by adding several layers of red ink in various adjacent hues, Simonsen creates depth, suggestion a natural clearing where the canopies of grand trees are soaring in the background.

At first glance, Blue Grass may seem like a vibrant abstract expressionist painting in the way the exuberant colour dart across the page, starkly juxtaposed with the background. It is an almost photonegative effect, creating a sense of movement when trying to focus on different parts of the work. Upon further inspection, viewers can appreciate the observations and meticulous details in Simonsen’s botanical drawings, grounding the image firmly in nature.

While his artistic roots have been in painting and drawing, Simonsen has always shown a strong commitment to the medium of printmaking throughout the development of his practice, and to the artist it is important to make the distinction between painting and printmaking because his approach to each can vary greatly. When painting, Simonsen often starts with just a single mark or sketch on the page and lets the artwork grow organically, gradually adding more marks and colours as the work develops. However, when creating a print he must consider each layer of the image first, and how this will translate to a multi-layer screenprint. Each layer of the print are first completed in black - regardless of what colour they will be on the final print - and Simonsen must carefully visualise how the individual black and white layers will translate to various colours in the final work - a much more deliberate process. In this way, his printmaking takes on a vastly different methodology from his painting, and he approaches each of his prints as original artworks in themselves.

For almost two decades the landscapes by Henrik Simonsen have excited a growing international audience viewing his works at art fairs around the world, and at the regular and anticipated solo shows in New York and Palm Beach, Florida. Representing the Danish artist since 2008, Eyestorm have proudly released fifteen exclusive print editions - including Blue Grass - in collaboration with Simonsen. The six-layer manually screenprinted work on Somerset paper is an edition of 60, signed and numbered on front.

To view the print edition in more detail and to find more information about available works by Henrik Simonsen, visit his artist page here.
 
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Confronted by the media in the late-nineties, questioning the use of assistants in the creation of the spot paintings, Damien Hirst replied with few words and two new artworks titled Painting-by-Numbers. Delving into the beauty of infinity was more important than spending time pleasing the critics. In the spot paintings, representing one theme of many in his practice, Hirst found a source to endless sceneries; visualised in perfect grids and utilising colour to guide the emotions of the viewer. The red and blue DIY-kit was an amusing response to his critics, and adding an unexpected act of a gallery cleaner, Painting-by-Numbers contributed to the ever-present question: what is art?
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Whether it is a thicket in the proximity of his childhood home or a patch of wild grass on a far-away continent, Henrik Simonsen finds the often overlooked and unremarkable fragments of nature and portrays it in all its splendour. In his works, trees are majestic and wind-torn crooked bushes become mystifying; intriguing stories told lavishly with colour that are more an expressionist language rather than a depiction of real nature. Featuring a single tree with butterflies as leaves, Blue Butterflies displays a rich colour palette of silvery gold tones with a range of crisp blues, following up on Simonsen’s direct themes of transition and short-lived moments flooded with light.
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