Galleri Christoffer Egelund proudly presents the second solo exhibition Plantscapes with the talented UK-based Danish artist Henrik S. Simonsen.
The exhibition Plantscapes consists of a series of new paintings by Henrik S. Simonsen, in which the artist utilises nature's and the colour's abundant metaphorical oppurtunities to give form to an inner, as well as an outer, landscape. The paintings of Simonsen are characterised by a powerful use of intense colours and the use of abstract elements alongside the meticulous plant formations.
For a decade, Simonsen has perfected his work with nature as a metaphor for the inner landscapes of man. Contrasting notions such as strength and frailty as well as passion and fear, that define the human experience fill the canvases. The artist describes his own work as: ”a visual diary of my observations and experiences along the, at times, overgrown path of existence”. The most prominent artistic means Simonsen uses to depict the human emotional landscape is an intense and captivating use of colour. In the piece Yellow a deep hue of yellow dominates the scene contrasting the more subtle hues of blue in the painting October grass. The two paintings are close to each other in matter of composition – large parts of sky takes up the upper parts of the paintings and vegetation fills the bottom – but the atmospheres and tales immanent to the paintings seem miles apart. October grass exudes autumn melancholy whereas Yellow is a true explosion of vitality.
Simonsen's plantscapes reference Nordic expressionism, a period in Art History where the elements of nature were not necessarily depicted in their natural colours. The landscapes of Edvard Munch express psychological states of mind, they show nature filtered through the subjectivity of a human mind, and not objective studies of nature. The colour is at the forefront, in the paintings of Munch and Nolde as well as in the work of Simonsen.
But the inspiration of Simonsen are also to be found further back in time, more specifically in the Rococo period. The artistic expression of this era was characterised by the organic, the asymmetric and ornamental, all notions easily translated to the universe of Simonsen. The plant formations growing wild in the rococo paintings and interiors are given a new, modern form in Simonsen's paintings.
The plantscapes of Simonsen are the fruit of a time-consuming process. The artworks all start as drawings drawn directly unto the canvas, whereafter the delicate process of painting the negative space of the drawings begins. The artist uses a special wash of colour pigment dissolved into a solvent which gives the intensity of colour experienced in the paintings. It takes time and patience for the vegetation to grow into the strong and powerful plantscapes we see in the gallery space.
The colourful plantscapes of Simonsen offer a universe of intensities where melancholy and passion is weaved into the wildly growing vegetation.
Henrik S. Simonsen (b. 1974) graduated from Sotheby's Institute of Art, London and Montclaire University, New York. He has exhibited at the Royal Opera House (2008), London, and has had several solo shows in renowned galleries such as Forster Gallery in London, Opus Gallery in Newcastle and Byard Gallery in Cambridge. His paintings, drawings and prints are held in numerous private and corporate collections including the impressive art collection at the high-profile St. Pancras Hotel in London.
Galleri Christoffer Egelund cordially invites you to the opening of Henrik S. Simonsen: Plantscapes on Friday the 7th of November from 17-20. The exhibition will run until December the 6st, 2014. Opening hours: Monday - Friday from 11-18, Saturdays from 12-16. For further information and press photographs, please contact the gallery at: email@example.com or at +45 33 93 92 00.