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HENRIK SIMONSEN | NEW SCREENPRINT EDITIONS

March 7th 2015
Magenta and Ochre are two brand new screenprint editions by painter and printmaker Henrik Simonsen. Angie talks more about the works below.

Since Henrik Simonsen moved to Berlin in the summer of 2013, making his screenprint editions has become more of an intense project as opposed to something he could do alongside painting in his studio, occasionally popping in to the print room to oversee decisions. Nowadays he comes over to London and spends time working solely on the edition until the proof has been completed, so last month, to create Magenta and Ochre, the two stunning new editions we’re launching today, he spent a whole week, full time at Jealous print studio. It was quite full-on but worth it, as these two prints really are something to write home about.

As with Scarlet, the Eyestorm edition he created at Jealous last year - which has proved to be one of our most popular works shown at the autumn fairs with already half of the edition sold - the two new pieces see Henrik begin by building up a base in vibrant hues of the same colour with scratches and gestural marks. In the case of Magenta, different shades of purples and pinks form the first four or five layers before the blue is added to create the negative space, bringing the image together.

The same technique is applied to Ochre. Hues of lemon through to deep golden yellows are built up layer by layer until the colour is really intense. Then goes on the dusty blue, which ultimately creates the final image, and lastly the warm rusty ochre which we felt grounded the piece, bringing it back down to its roots.

I love this way of working and believe it’s this formula that makes these works what they are. At a close inspection, there’s some really nice detail in each of the new pieces where the energetic mark making comes through in the foliage, adding an abstract element, not to mention an aspect of chance. Unlike pre-conceived images that are then screenprinted to the exact detail of the original concept, Henrik’s pieces are real serigraphs, created from scratch, layer by layer, and not even he knows what the final piece is going to look like once its printed, especially as he selects the final colours while in the print studio, weeks after making the first true grain sheets.

An important factor in Henrik’s work for him, his paintings included, is the relationship between colours. When selecting the right blue to go onto each of the new prints, it took several attempts to get it just right. Henrik loves the fact that by placing one colour next to another, they can react to each other in different ways and his intensions with these screenprints was that the colours would jump around on the paper, causing subtle movement as your eyes glance across the page. It’s difficult to see on the screen, but in the flesh it becomes apparent that he has achieved this, especially so I would say in Ochre, as the yellow leaves appear to almost dance around in the sun against the pale blue sky.

For Henrik, this series of works is about capturing different seasons at varying times of day. Scarlet, with its bright reds and cooling turquoise represented late summer - the time of year that was approaching when he made the piece - whereas Magenta sees him influenced by the feelings of late spring, perhaps as evening approaches, and Ochre the brightness of the midday sun in early summer.

The final touches to all three of the works in this series come in the form of small splatters of white to add a highlighted element. Where a lot of the early true grains (the clear film the artists work on that are then turned into the screens for pulling ink through to create the layers) are made by Henrik in his studio prior to his visit to the printers, the last few screens are made and created while he’s there. It’s often difficult to know how much is needed in terms of the final layers of a print, so this is a great way of working to ensure just the right amount is added to finish off these beautifully dynamic and energetic works that are among my favourite of all Henrik’s screenprint editions.

Each in a limited edition of 60, signed and numbered by the artist, Magenta and Ochre are available to buy online. See them in more detail here.
ANGIE DAVEY
Creative Director
HENRIK SIMONSEN
Magenta
 
HENRIK SIMONSEN
Ochre
 
 
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