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Takeover #193 Simone Albers

︎ by Sanne Zurné
Simone Albers: Instagram / Website

#193 (07/02 - 11/02, 2022) written by Linda Köke

Painted panels forming constellations that are scattered like stars in galaxies. Colourful abstract forms in organic shapes dancing on materials I cannot quite immediately recognise. The works of Simone Albers are enigmatic, mystical yet scientific. She graduated in 2012 from Fine Art at ArtEZ in Arnhem and has since then been working as a painter.

Being inspired by nature, Simone paints subtopics of the natural world. Her paintings heavily rely on scientific research and its visual language. By committing to a sub-theme of the natural world, she expands on this by working in series. Just as one element in nature is part of a whole natural system, each painting that she makes in each series is part of a whole, that she sometimes presents as installations. Her previous series Fabric of Reality took the universe as a subtopic; at the moment Simone is working on a series on micro-organisms.

In addition to this deep embedding in natural science, Simone’s research is also focused on the materiality of paint. Her studio is filled with all kinds of paints, mediums, pastes and little jars with her own concoctions. She likes playing with paint and exploring its technical qualities. In her series on the universe, Simone discovered a way to marble her canvases, giving them a very fluid effect.

“Philosophy also plays a big role in my work: how far does our knowledge reach? Can we ever completely figure out everything about nature, or will there always be something that remains enigmatic? I’d like to believe that we will never be able to fully fathom nature. In a way it is a very Romantic thought.”

Her works breathe an air of neo-romanticism, a nod to the awe-inspiring landscape paintings of the late eighteenth century. They confront us with things in nature that are so large or small that we cannot experience them directly: from black holes to microscopic entities. Simone uses these as a modern interpretation of the sublime, a term coined in the Romantic era to describe the new experience with nature referring to its grand, incomprehensible and sometimes even terrifying qualities that remind us how insignificant we are in nature.

“Personally, I find that we in the western world take care of nature too poorly. Throughout history, there are many examples of things that have gone wrong with our relationship to nature. We didn’t always seem to realise she is finite and not inexhaustible but that’s shifting now. I hope that my work can be a tool for people to find a humbler position in regard to nature, and learn that our relationship with it is much more complex and dynamic than it initially looks like on the surface.”

In her takeover Simone will share some of her previous exhibitions and created work, as well as her artistic process. She will also share a look into her collection of collected images: visualisations of different scientific theories, models and other images. From there she takes us along on her journey of how these abstract, scientific concepts find their way to her canvases.

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