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HENRIK SIMONSEN | 'BLUE SLOE', 'PINK SLOE', 'ORANGE SLOE' AND 'YELLOW SLOE'

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.

As always it’s a pleasure to work with Henrik Simonsen in the print studio as he creates his stunning screenprints, and this time round we were excited to be making not just one but four new editions with this talented artist. Slightly smaller in scale than previous prints, these works are made to work as a series, so they can be paired or shown as a set of two, three or four.

Now living in Berlin, Henrik came over to London at the end of January to do the last preparations before the printing process. Having already drawn most of the true grains for the screens at his own studio, it was colour mixing he was primarily focussing on while in the print studio, along with a few final drawings on the true grain for some added screens which were decided at the end.

The four prints: Blue Sloe, Orange Sloe, Pink Sloe and Yellow Sloe are each different in colour, but they are paired in terms of composition. Blue Sloe and Yellow Sloe have the same composition, and Pink Sloe and Orange Sloe are the same, although the difference in colour makes them stand out as individual pieces. This idea of repetition, paired with the ‘Pop Art’ colours is perhaps a nod to the repetitive work of artists such as Andy Warhol.

As you may have guessed from the title of the works, they feature the sloe bush, sometimes known as blackthorn. One of the reasons Henrik chose to use this plant as the subject of the prints was because of its wonderful shape. He said: “the branches make a great drawing subject because of the complex nature in which they grow, especially the more mature bushes, where parts of them no longer carry leaves, revealing more of the structure.”

Henrik holds fond memories of the sloe bush, as where he grew up in Denmark they marked the edges of the fields that belonged to his parents. In his mind sloes are markers of boundaries, keeping people in and people out. Their dense and prickly growth pattern, bitter blue fruit and heavily-scented white flowers made a strong impression on Henrik as a child, and he used to think they were the kind of plant that might belong in a world of fairy tales.

Colour plays an important part in Henrik’s work, contributing very much to the story behind each piece. The background hue in each of the new prints indicates the light at different points during a summer’s day. The Orange Sloe is the first, with its heavy warm light of a summer’s morning. Yellow Sloe follows, representing the bright intense light of the midday sun that makes shadows dark and sharp. Pink Sloe is in the late afternoon and early evening when the light begins to pale and the sun start to set, and Blue Sloe is the evening. In Scandinavia they call it ‘the blue hour’, when all colours move towards blue and leaves show up lighter than the blue darkening sky.

Henrik’s work has always had great appeal; his screenprint editions are very popular with collectors, and his original paintings, which sell through his New York gallery for up to £20,000 each, often sell early into his exhibitions. Aside from the beautiful execution of Henrik’s work, there’s perhaps something about the fact that it focuses on nature as a subject matter that draws viewers in. The current blockbuster exhibition at the Royal Academy in London, ‘Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse’, has had a huge attendance since it opened at the end of January. Focussing on artists who have used gardens and nature as inspiration, it really has brought in the crowds, maybe including visitors who wouldn’t normally go to see a gallery show. Perhaps this is because everyone can relate to the natural world in one way or another, and all have our own personal experiences and relationship with it. I think a similar thing can be said about these four new prints. We all have colours we’re drawn to for one reason or another, sometimes subconsciously. We may prefer to be surrounded by shades that make us feel uplifted, or those that are calming; colour theory is a hugely researched subject, with each colour having the ability to evoke a different emotion.

Blue Sloe, Orange Sloe, Pink Sloe and Yellow Sloe are available from today at the launch price of £685.00 incl.VAT. See the works in full detail and read more about Henrik Simonsen here.
ANGIE DAVEY
Creative Director
 
HENRIK SIMONSEN HENRIK SIMONSEN
Blue Sloe Orange Sloe
 
 
HENRIK SIMONSEN HENRIK SIMONSEN
Pink Sloe Yellow Sloe
 
 
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