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Nils-Udo

Nils-Udo, a Bavarian artist born in Lauf in 1937, is renowned as a painter, creator of environmental installations, and photographer. He is considered one of the pioneers of Art in Nature—an international artistic movement that combines the intentions of Land Art with a more lyrical and ecological vision. Drawing inspiration from the concept of “locus amoenus,” Nils-Udo uses sculptural artifice to compose installations within the landscape, creating what nature does not spontaneously produce.

As a sculptor of nature and a photographer of often ephemeral environmental installations, Nils-Udo embarked on his current path in 1972, coinciding with the rise of the environmental movement in Germany. His “site-specific” projects utilize diverse organic and inorganic materials. These elements are carefully arranged and photographed, transforming the perception of static and sculptural subjects into awe-inspiring works infused with the breath of nature. His creations include planted artificial hills, large nests made from tree trunks or marble eggs, flower or colorful leaf pathways, suspended grassy carpets resembling walkways, intertwined roots, and petal compositions on water and sand.

Rooted in the forests of Franconia and Tyrol, Nils-Udo’s artistic intention reflects the vital spirit inherent in German naturalistic culture. His forms and images evoke strong connections to folklore, mythology, and fairy tales. Forests, beaches, marshes, and deserts become both the canvas and integral components of his artwork. His approach leans toward romantic rather than conceptual, drawing inspiration from spiritual and aesthetic meditations closer to the East than American Land Art. Continuously invited to create ephemeral installations worldwide—from the Namibian desert to the volcanic beaches of the Canary Islands, from Loire Valley castle parks to the lush forests of South Carolina and the tropical woodlands of India and Réunion.

Recently, Nils-Udo has completed significant permanent installations. Notably, “Black Bamboo” at the Fondation EDF in Paris and “La Couvée” at the Fondation CARMIGNAC on Porquerolles Island. These installations feature large marble eggs, pebbles, and plant elements within the foundation’s park. His photographic works capture the essence of his artistry, as many of his installations are biologically perishable. Meanwhile, his large oil canvases reflect the artist’s emotions and dreamlike interpretations of the environment.

In 2020, Nils-Udo received the BNL-gruppo BNP/PARIBAS award for research photography with his piece “Sequoia Piece” (2012), derived from an installation created in the Botanical Garden of Vancouver. His work invites us to contemplate nature as the art to which we all belong, akin to the rapture inspired by a Beethoven symphony. Through photography, the witness to his artistic gestures endures, even as the biological impermanence of most of his installations remains.

Feel free to explore more about Nils-Udo’s captivating artistic journey!

WORKS
PERSONAL

2014

“Radeau d’Automne” – Galerie Claire Gastaud, Clermont-Ferrand

2012

Nils-Udo – Château de la Trémolière, Anglards de Salers

“Nature (élément)” – CAMPREDON centre d’art, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

2011

Nature – L’Adresse Musée de la Poste, Paris

Nouvelles Peintures et Photographies – Maison des Arts, Thonon-Evian

Photographies – Kaneko Art – Tokyo

“Nouvelles Peintures” – Galerie Pierre-Alain Challier, Paris

2010

Peintures et Photographies – Galerie Pierre-Alain Challier, Paris

Nouvelle Painture – Domanine de Méréville

Photographies et Peintures – Galerie Claire Gastaud, Clermont Ferrand

Installation “Burgenland” – Ville de Herten, Ruhr

Installation “Samsara Nid” – Roussillon, France

Installation “Autel d’eau” – Domaine de Méréville, France

2009

Installation “Pietra Covata” – Parco NAzionale del Pollino, Italy

Photographies – Chateau du Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire

Nouvelle Peinture – Musée de la Vallée de la Creuse, Eguzon

Art in Nature – Ersel SIM Private Bank, Turin

2008

Installation “Gulliver’s Forest” – Chateau de Chaumont-sur-Loire

Nouvelle Peinture – Galerie Pierre-Alain Challier, Paris

Photographies – Musée d’Art et d’Archéologie, Aurillac

Installation “Sella Nest” – Val di Sella, Italy

Installation “Gulliver’s Forest” – Sackville,Canada

Installation “Towards the river” – Stura river, Italy

Installation “Towards Nature” – Royal Botanical Garden, Hamilton, Canada

Emon Photo Gallery, Tokyo

2007

Peintures – Kunsthaus Alte Mühle Schmallenberg

Galerie Claire Gastaud, Clermont Ferrand

Espace André Malraux, Colmar

2006

Traces in Nature – Sala Picasso, Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid

Kaneko Art Gallery, Tokyo

2005

Maison des arts, Paris

Kaneko Art Gallery, Tokyo

Maison des Arts, Paris-Malakoff

Installation “Clemson Clay Nest” – Botanical Garden, South Carolina, Clemson University, USA

Project “Manglas” – Maracaibo, Vénézuela

Fotografie e Dipinti 2000-2005 – Photo&Contemporary, Turin

2004

Musée de Chateauroux

Musée de Strasbourg

Musée de Cavalaire-sur-Mer

Installation “Landscape with Waterfall” – Foto Fest, Houston

Installation “Das Nest” – BUGA 2005, Munich

Installation “Le Chant des esprits au-dessus des eaux” – Wilhemsdorf

Installations “Takamaka” – Ile de la Réunion

2003

ArtCurial, Paris

Galerie Alain Gutharc, Paris

Galerie Claire Gastaud, Clermont Ferrand

Kunstgalerie, Fürth

Installation “Pre-Cambrian Sanctuary” – Mont Tremblant, Québec, Canada

Installation “Ivry-Habitat” – Charles Foix parc, Paris

Galway Arts Festival, Ireland

Arte Sella, Borgo, Italie

2002

Gunman Museum of Art, Tatebayashi, Japon.

Iwate Museum of Art, Morioka, Japon

Obihiro Museum of Art, Hokkaido, Japon

Kaneko Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japon

Installations for the Art-Nature-project of Cesar Manrique Foundation – Lanzarote

Monumental Installation – Neandertal Valley

Monumental Installation – Moncton University, Canada

2001

Installation “Stein-Zeit-Mensch” – Waldskulpturenweg, Wittgenstein Saverland, Bad Berleburg

Installation “Ligne de bambous” – Ile de la Réunion

Installation “Bamboo-valley” – St. Catherine, Canada

Photo&Contemporary, Turin

Installation – Maglione, Italy

2000

Installations “Namibie, pour le parfum Guérlain”, – Namibia

Installation “Habitat” – Jardin des Champs Elysées, Paris

Zadkine Museum, Paris

1999

Installation “La Belle au bois dormant” – Jardin des Plantes, Paris

Ludwig Forum pour l’Art International, Aix la Chapelle

Photo&Contemporary, Turin

DeLelon White Gallery, Toronto

Galerie Krief, Paris

Dorow Gallery, Berlin

Kaneko Art Gallery, Tokyo

1998

DeLeon White Gallery, Toronto

Galerie Guy Bartschi, Geneve

Haus der Kultur, Waldkraiburg

Installation ” Nest” – Red Rock Canyon, California

Installation “Novalis-Hain die Blaue Blume” – Augsburg

COLLECTIVE
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CATALOGS

Nils-Udo “L’Art dans la Nature” – Ed. Flammarion, Paris – 2011
Nils-Udo “Nature” – ed. Beaux-arts de Paris – 2011
“Nils-Udo” – ed. Cercle d’Art, Paris – 2010
Nils-Udo “Nouvelle Peinture” – Ed. Tarabuste, Saint-Benoit-du Sault – 2010
Nils-Udo “Photographies” – Gourcuff Gradenico ed., Montreuil – 2009
Nils-Udo “Nids” – ed. Cercle d’Art, Parigi – 2003
Nils-Udo “Natur Kunst Natur” – ed. Flammarion, Parigi – 2002
Nils-Udo “Towards Nature“ – Gunma Museum of Art, Tatebayashi, Hokkaido Obihiro Museum of Art, Iwate Museum of Art – 2002
Nils-Udo “Peintures” – Ed. Tarabuste, Saint-Benoit-du Sault – 2000
Nils-Udo “De I’art avec la nature” – ed. Wienand, Colonia – 1999

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