Simonsen's plantscapes point back to the Nordic expressionism, where nature's elements not necessarily are shown in their natural colours. The landscape is not a pure nature study, on the contrary it expresses moods, the nature filtered through the human mind. The colour is an important part of the expressionist work by artists like Edvard Munch and Emil Nolde, the same applies for Simonsen's paintings. Yet Simonsen looks further back into art history and find his inspiration in the pompous art of the rococo period in the first half of the 1700s. The visual expression of the rococo is characterized by the organic, wild and asymmetrical, all words which are easily applied to Simonsen's work. Curving plants and patterns from the rococo paintings and interiors are translated to a modern expression in Simonsen's work.
His breathtaking plantscapes is the result of a long and demanding process, a process with the drawing as a key element. Every piece starts out as a freehand drawing on the canvas, followed by the application of mixed colours. The negative spaces of the drawing are filled repeatedly, which takes time and patience in order to get the plants to grow on the canvas.
Simonsen's colourful plantscapes offer a universe of intensities, where melancholy and passion mix up with the wild growing plant formations.
Henrik S. Simonsen (b. 1974) graduated from Sotheby's Institute of Art, London, and Montclaire University, New York. He exhibited at The Royal Opera House (2008), London, and has had several solo exhibitions in galleries like Forster Gallery in London, Opus Gallery in Newcastle and Byard Gallery in Cambridge. His paintings, drawings and graphics are part of both private and company collections, e.g. in the art collection at St. Pancras Hotel in London.