Hochschule der Künste Berlin, 1989, Master
Born in Berlin in 1951, Henriette Simon grew up in Germany and the USA. In 1980, she met the artist Franklin Alexander in New York, who introduced her to the impulsive New York art scene. At the State University of New York – Albany, Henriette Simon studied Freestyle Painting and participated in the summer camps for artists in Woodstock. In 1983, she returned to Berlin, where she studied Art Education under F.C. Bernstein and Painting under Prof. Hartmut Friedrich at the Hochschule der Künste.
Henriette grants the color material – the application of colors she mixes herself, to which she often adds sand, dirt, or similar materials in order to give them more substance – the greatest possible freedom. Usually, the image area is determined by a primary but often distinguished color, an earthy brown or glowing red. Joining these are nervous-gestural detail or tangible objects made out of sand. Not only the sand, but also the influence of the "New York School" of Abstract Modern Art has left traces upon the image space.
The works thus cannot be grasped at first glance. Rather, they internalize the idea of not prescribing to the viewer what he is supposed to see, but rather forcing him to rely upon himself to "remove himself from the space of responsibilities to reality.“
The process of shaping the unformed material is, so to speak, the statement of the picture. As the artist only intervenes conditionally, giving space to the non-rational composition as well as to coincidence and the specific behavior of the material, arrangements and principles are expressed which are paralleled in the primal systems of nature. In the act of destruction and renewed shaping, in growth and change, Simon's works are not reflections of nature, but relived reality.
Dr. Barbara Aust-Wegemund
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