Brazil is home to a wealth of forests, jungles and plants of all sorts. In 2012, Luzia Simons, who was born in Brazil, travelled to Amazonia to begin artistic research in partnership with the National Institute of Amazonian Research (INPA). Two years later, she returned to her homeland to visit the gardens that had been designed or influenced by Roberto Burle Marx, who is credited with introducing modernist landscape architecture to Brazil. She decided to produce a new series of works there. Just as during each of her trips, the artist collects plants and impressions then undertakes her “scanograms”, a technique in which she deposits her compositions of agave, monstera or aloe vera directly on to the glass plate of the scanner. This tried and tested technique reflects both the artist’s expression and “style”, in keeping with the tradition of photography without a camera, to which the photograms and “Rayographs” by Man Ray belonged at the turn of the 20th century.
Luzia Simons has devoted the last few years to investigating floral iconography and to expressing her artistic views via this subject, boldly combining photographic hyperrealism with metaphorical design.
Luzia Simons au Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire, 2016 - © Éric Sander
Born in 1953 in Quixada, in the Northeast Region of Brazil, Luzia Simons moved to Germany in 1986 after studying history and visual arts at the Sorbonne. She now splits her time between Berlin, Paris and São Paulo.
Represented by the Alexander Ochs Private Gallery in Berlin, Fabian & Claude Walter Gallery in Zurich and Carbono Gallery in São Paulo, her works are on display across a number of institutions including: the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris, Centre d’Art et de Nature, Chaumont-sur-Loire, Deutscher Bundestag, Berlin (Germany), Kunsthalle Emden (Germany), Graphische Sammlung der Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart (Germany), Kupferstich-Kabinett der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen, Dresden (Germany), Museum De Buitenplaats, Eelde (Netherlands), Casa de las Americas, La Havane (Cuba), Museu de Arte Sacra, Belém (Brazil), Coleção Joaquim Paiva, MAM Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), MASP / Museu de Arte de São Paulo (Brazil) and University of Essex, Colchester (Great Britain). A whole host of private collections feature her works in Germany, France, Brazil and other countries.
Several major personal exhibitions have been devoted to Simons in such institutions as the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo in 2013/14, the Centre d’Arts et de Nature at Chaumont-sur-Loire in 2009, the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin in 2006, the Institut Français d’Istanbul in conjunction with the Biennale in 2005 and the Württembergischer Kunstverein in Stuttgart in 2002.
In June 2016, as part of the Rendez-Vous aux Jardins (Garden Rendezvous) event, the Archives Nationales will be hosting the exhibition STOCKAGE on their Paris site, a site-specific contemporary installation put on for the main courtyard of Hôtel de Soubise through a double series of scanograms.