• Introduction

  • CV

  • Exhibitions

  • Publications

  • More contexts

Creativity has something to do with conscious modifications, with an engagement to the present.  And in order to maintain the allure of the nudes to future generations, they have to be enduring.  A painting or a sculpture is finished when the artists signs it and resigns from altering it for good – this is he idea at any rate.  Thereafter the work should be unaltered and, if possible, everlasting.  This ideal eternity antagonizes nature, which is forever in motion and constantly transforming itself. The artists of the Renaissance saw themselves as students of nature.  But, in those days, it was required that a student would one day best his master teacher.  The euphoria of everlasting advancement was that every future generation should outdo the former and thereby continually learn how to control nature.  Being better than nature, and ultimately making her a subject, is also a biblical belief.  Paired with the age-old dream of the fountain of youth, this leads to fatal results, which are ever-present all around us. The artist Nils-Udo has exceedingly discarded these artistic concepts, most likely because he occasionally moved an enriching distance away from our occidental civilization.  His work embodies the humility and in comparison to the fundamentals of life.  The art historian Dieter Ronte once said, “ The artistic fantasy envisions nature.  It doesn’t destroy like when man intervenes with nature.”  Nils Udo rises to nature in that he accepts its laws of transience and change. In 1972 he gave up painting, which he had practicing in Paris for a decade, and began renting land from farmers in order to carry out his plantations and excavations.  With the borrowed natural materials he created nests, curtains and rafts, purely to photograph them as evidence of their ephemeral existence. This second step of photographing his creations, bestows his works with a permanence. However, this conservation also includes the alterations of nature.  This apparent paradox is, upon closer inspection, a natural law.  The eternalness doesn’t lie in the unalterable, but in the constant renewal.  Nils Udo’s photography is not purely documentary, but more so a creation of its own reality.  It abstracts, it reduces temperature, aesthetic, time, space and the tactile to the two-dimensional.  It compacts the elusive natural creation and concentrates on it, unleashing itself in the eye of the viewer: “The sensation is omnipresent.”

1937born in Lauf (Bavaria)
1960Moved to Paris after numerous trips through Europe, Morocco, the Mid-East and a one year  residence in Iran
1970Moved to Northern Bavaria after ten years in Paris as a freelance painter
1972Decided to give up painting and begin his nature works; rented large pieces of land on which  he developed his first earth projects planted with trees and bushes which have since then been created in numerous countries
1980Parallel to his nature projects, he began to create permanent citywide projects
Lives and works in Riedering

Awards (Selection)

19981st prize at the International Tirennial of Photography, Fribourg, Switzerland
19851st prize at the International competition, Parc d’Éole in Brest

Solo Exhibitions (Selection)

2005Solo Exhibit, Turin, Munich and Paris-Malakoff
2004Solo Exhibit, Museé de Châteauroux, France; Ile de La Réunion, Indian Ocean, in Cavalaire sur Mer, France and in Strasbourg
2003Solo Exhibit, Fürth, Paris, Borgo, Italy, Galway Arts Festival, Ireland, Ville de Grand Quevilly, France, Clermont-Ferrand, France.
2002Solo Exhibit and Installation in Gunma Museum of Art in Tatebayashi, Japan, in Iwate Museum of Art in Morioka, Japan, and in Hokkaido Obihiro Museum of Art, Japan
Solo Exhibit, Wasserburg am Inn and Tokyo
2001Solo Exhibit, Paris, Lanzarote, in Turin and Toronto
2000Solo Exhibit,  Bayreuth, Rosenheim, Bergamo, Colmar, Geneva, Paris, Strasbourg, Séléstat and Munic
1999Solo Exhibit, Ludwig Forum Aachen, in Turin, Brussels, Reims, Berlin, Toronto und Tokyo
1998Solo Exhibit, Toulon, Toronto, Waldkraiburg and Geneva
1995Solo Exhibit, Paris, Tokyo and Bombay
1994Solo Exhibit, Budapest, Lille and Anzin
1993Solo Exhibit, Poznan, Poland
1991Solo Exhibit, Munich, Tokyo, Angers and Evry
1989Solo Exhibit,  Reims, Munich and Tokyo
1987Solo Exhibit, Tokyo and Coimbra
1986Solo Exhibit, Montpellier, Salzburg, Montbéliard and Tokyo
1985Solo Exhibit, Rennes, Paris and Tokyo
1984Solo Exhibit, Lyon

Group Exhibitions (Selection)

2006Retrospective of Photographic Images und Painting, Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid
2004Exhibit, ECO-PHOTO Long Island, USA
1998Exhibit, Art and Nature in Malibu, California
Exhibit, Affinities and Collections in Escondido, California
1996Exhibit, Odense, Denmark and Toronto

Books/Catalogs (Selection)

Floris M. Neusüss, Photography as Art – Art as Photography 2, Kassel 1977

Heinz Thiel/Andreas Vowinckel, Zwei Steine sind nie gleich, Galerie Falazik, Neuenkirchen 1978

A fotografia como arte – a arte como fotografia, Centro de arte contemporânea, Porto 1979

Nils-Udo, Sonnenskulptur, Holz + Kunst, II. Freiburger Symposium, hrsg. v. Kunstverein Freiburg, 1979

Münchner Künstler in Münchner Galerien, Kulturreferat der Stadt München, 1980

III. Internationale Triennale der Photographie, Fribourg 1981 Tilman Osterwold/Andreas Vowinckel, Natur – Skulptur, hrsg. v. Württembergischen Kunstverein, Stuttgart 1981

Skulptur – Architektur – Natur, hrsg. von der Städtischen Galerie Nordhorn, 1982

2. Internationales Bildhauer-Symposion Bentheimer Sandstein, Nordhorn 1982

Katalog Symposium Nordseeküste, Cuxhaven 1982

Eckhard Schneider, Positionen, hrsg. von der Städtischen Galerie Nordhorn, 1983

Hubert Besaçier, Musée St. Pierre Art contemporain, Lyon 1984

Monique Faux/Jean-Blaise Picheral, L’art et la ville, Paris 1986

Delphine Renard, Nils-Udo à Équevilley, Nils-Udo Récoltes, 21 jours à Équevilley, Centre d’Art Contemporain de Montbéliard, 1986

Régis Durand, Deux saisons, Vassivière en Limousin 1987

Tasaku Kaneko, Begegnung mit Nils-Udo, Kaneko Art Gallery, Tokyo 1987

Fotografische Bilder, hrsg. von der Städt. Galerie Nordhorn und dem Mannheimer Kunstverein 1987/1988

La Nature de l’Art, La Villette/Paris 1988

Nils-Udo, La Réunion à Paris, Inventer 89, Vaisseau de Pierres, La Villette/Paris 1988

Régis Durand, Le regard pensif, Paris 1988

Wolfgang Hartmann/Werner Pokorny, Das Bildhauersymposion, Stuttgart 1988

Vittorio Fagone, In loco; Helmut Lesch, Nils-Udo und sein Marienhof-Brunnen, München 1989

Roselyne Von-Pine, Un artiste une île, Galerie Vincent, Île de la Réunion 1990

L’art renouvelle la ville, L’art contemporain et urbanisme en France, Paris/Tokyo 1990

Material und Raum, Uwe Rüth, Galerie Heimeshoff, Essen 1990/1991

Hubert Besaçier, Bäume; Vera Botterbusch, Der Grenzgänger Nils-Udo, München 1991

Michel Draguet, Dieter Ronte, Raymond-Marie Balau, in: Variations entre la feuille et l’arbre, in: L’art renouvelle la ville, in: Ausst.-Kat. Urbanisme et art contemporain, Musée National des Monuments Français, Paris 1992

Alain Sayag, in: Ausst.-Kat. Arrêt sur viaduc, hrsg. von EPAD, La Défense, Paris 1993

Liliane Albertazzi, Ausst.-Kat. Différentes Natures, Visions de l’Art Contemporain, La Défense, Paris 1993

Colette Garraud, L’idée de nature dans l’art contemporain, Flammarion, Paris 1993

Art Grandeur Nature II, Parc de la Courneuve, hrsg. v. Conseil Général, St. Denis, Paris 1994

John K. Grande, Balance: Art and Nature, Montréal/New York/London 1994

Francisco Asensio Cerver, Landscape Art, world of environmental design, Francisco Asensio Cerver, Barcelona, Spanien 1995

Régis Durand, Le maïs, Nils-Udo – Laàs 1994, Bordeaux 1995

Cahiers intempestifs, Nr. 5, Saint-Etienne 1995

Barbara Nemitz (Hrsg.), Ausst.-Kat. Wachsen, Arbeit an den Künstlergärten Weimar, Nr.2, Herbst 1996

Trilogi, Kunst – Natur – Videnskab, Kunsthallen Brandts Klaedefabrik, Odense 1996

Vittorio Fagone, Art in Nature, Mailand 1996

Nils-Udo, Nature–Corps, Lille 1996

Georg Lechner, Nils-Udo, New Delhi 1994, hrsg. von Max Mueller Bhavan New Delhi und demGoethe-Institut München, New Delhi 1997

Francisco Asensio Cerver, Interventions in Landscape, in: International Landscape Architecture, Barcelona, Spain 1997

Philippe Piguet, Nils-Udo, A fleur de vie, in: Ausst.-Kat. Nils-Udo, Galerie Guy Bärtschi, Genève 1998

Cahiers intempestifs, Nr. 10, St. Etienne 1998

Nils-Udo, La Belle Au Bois Dormant, in: Parfums de Sculpture, Materia Prima , Pau1999

Monique Faux, Tadayasu Sakai, Nils-Udo, Parc d’Eole Brest ‘89, in: L’Art renouvelle la ville, Tokyo 1999

Barbara Nemitz (Hrsg.), Lebende Vegetation in der zeitgenössischen Kunst, Weimar 1999

NILS - UDO Kunst mit Natur, Essays von Wolfgang Becker, Régis Durand, Vittorio Fagone und John K. Grande, Hrsg. Wolfgang Becker, Wienand Verlag Köln 1999

NILS - UDO De l’art avec la nature, Essays von Wolfgang Becker, Régis Durand, Vittorio Fagone und John K. Grande, Hrsg. Wolfgang Becker, Wienand Verlag Köln 1999

NILS - UDO Art in Nature, Essays von Wolfgang Becker, Régis Durand, Vittorio Fagone und John K. Grande, Hrsg. Wolfgang Becker, Wienand Verlag Köln 2000

Nils-Udo, Wolfgang Becker, Vittorio Fagone, Arte nella natura (1972-1999), Supplemento al catalogo internazionale, Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo 2000

Auf den Spuren der Wirklichkeit, Vorwort Heike Strelow, Ausst. Katalog, Galerie Guy Bärtschi, Genève 2000

Quaderns, Nr. 225, hrsg. Col-legi d'Arquitectes de Catalunya, Barcelona 2000

Barbara Nemitz, trans plant, Living Vegetation in Contemporary Art, Hatje Cantz Verlag, Deutschland 2000

Nature, Art, Paysage, Gilles A. Tiberghien, Actes sud / École Nationale Supérieure du Paysage / Centre du Paysage, 2001

Sabine Bartelsheim, Pflanzenkunstwerke, Lebende Pflanzen in der Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts, Verlag Silke Schreiber 2001

Große Kunstausstellung Arbeitskreis 68, Galerie im Ganserhaus, Wasserburg am Inn, 2002

NILS-UDO Towards Nature, Essays von Wolfgang Becker, Kazunari Sasaki, Yuri Matsushita, Cultural Affairs Departement of Kyodo News, Tokyo, Gunma Museum of Art, Tatebayashi, Obihiro Museum of Art, Hokkaido, Iwate Museum of Art, Morioka Japan 2002

Sigrid Wollmeier, Natur-Kunst, Künstlersymposien in Deutschland, Michael Imhof Verlag 2002

Phyllis Richardson, Contemporary Natural, Thames & Hudson, London 2002NILS-UDO Art in Nature, Essay von Hubert Besacier, Editions Flammarion, Paris 2002

NILS-UDO L’art dans la Nature, Essay von Hubert Besacier, Editions Flammarion, Paris 2002

Katalog Internationaler Workshop Landschaftspark Bärwalder See Uhyst 2003

NILS-UDO Nester, Kunst Galerie Fürth, Editions Cercle d’Art Paris 2003

NILS-UDO Nids, Editions Cercle d’Art Paris 2003

FOTOFEST H2004, Celebrating Water, Tenth International Biennal of Photography and Photo-Related Art, Houston, USA 2004

Cahiers intempestifs, Edition Nummer 16, 2004

Ökologische Ästhetik, Theorie und Praxis künstlerischer Umweltgestaltung, Heike Strelow, Birkhäuser Verlag für Architektur, Schweiz, 2004

John K. Grande, Art Nature Dialogues, Interviews with environmental Artists, State University of New York, USA 2004

NILS-UDO Peintures 1989 – 1991, Tarabuste, Frankreich 2005

NILS-UDO NaturKunstNatur, Essay von Hubert Besacier, Editions Flammarion, Paris, Prestel Verlag München 2005

Additional Information

2005Completed “Clemson Clay Nest” for the South Carolina Botanical Garden, University of Clemson, USA
Installation “Paysage avec Cascade”, Paris-Malakoff
Completed “Das Nest (The Nest)” for the national garden show, Munich
2004Completed the installation “Landscape with waterfall” for the Photo Festival, Houston, USA
Planned installation for the glass manufacturer Harzkristall, Germany
Created the permanent installation ”Gesang der Geister über den Wassern (The Song of the Ghosts About Water)” Wilhelmsdorf bei Ravensburg
TAKAMAKA Project, series of works on the Ile de La Réunion, Indian Ocean
Created the DVD Film „La Mer“
2003Installation “Ivry-Habitat”, Hospital Park, Charles Foix, Ivry-Paris
Series of installations in the Connemara region for the Galway Arts Festival, Ireland
Created a permanent installation for the Bavarian Police Administration Office in Straubing, Germany
Created the permanent installation “Pre-Cambrian Sanctuary” neat Mont Tremblant for the Centre dÁrt contemporain du Québec, Montreal, Canada
Blueprints of landscape projects for the international workshop, Bärwalder See near  Cottbus, Germany
2002Installation inNeanderthal and  permanent installation “Entrée” for the Moncton University, Canada
Series of works in Lanzarote for the Art-Nature-project, Fundaçion César Manrique
2001Installation „Ligne des bambous“, Ile de la Réunion, Indian Ocean
Permanent installation “Stein-Zeit-Mensch (Stone between mankind)”, Waldskulpturenweg Wittgenstein-Sauerland, Bad Berleburg
Permanent installation “Bois bleu” in Maglione, Piemont, Italy and for the city of Geneva, Switzerland
Installation“Bamboo Valley”, St. Catharines, Canada
2000Installations in the Namibian desert, for Guerlain, Paris
Installation “Habitat“ in the Champs Elysées garden, and “Gazon vole!” in Musée Zadkine, Paris
Created two large scanachromes for Bayreuth University
Installation “La Belle au bois dormant”in Jardin des Plantes, Paris
1998Installation “Red Rock Nest”, Red Rock Canyon near Los Angeles, California
Permanent installation “Novalis-Hain“ for Augsburg University
1997Created the permanent project “Naturarchitekturskulptur (Natural Architectural Sculpture)” in Troisdorf near Cologne
1996Concept EXPO 2000 project in Hannover
Created a permanent Lanscape Sculpture and Planting in Salzburg
Works for the Peter Gabriel music video “Across the River” for the worldwide WWF – campaign, The Living Planet, Vancouver Island
1995Installations in Nature in England for die CD-ROM “EVE”  by Peter Gabriel
Installation “Root-Sculpture” and Solo Exhibit in Mexico City
Created the project“Die Blaue Blume (The Blue Flowers)” in Glonn near Munich
1994Installations in a public parking lot, New Delhi
Installation“Mais” in Làas near Pau, France and on Rügen
Works on the subject of Human Nature with students from Universite Valenciennes, Lille
Installations in Parc de la Courneuve, Paris Saint Denis
„Entrée de Ville“, project proposal for the city of Évry
Installations in Natur, Fujino, Japan
1993Installations in Paris and Brussels „Landschaft mit Wasserfall (Lanscape with Waterfall)”
Installationen in Wageningen, Holland, “ Landschaft mit See (Sumpf) (Landscape with Lake, Marsh)” near Cottbus and permanent installation “La Vallée de Fleur Bleue” in  Lagrézette Park, France
1992Installation Planting for Grande Arche, La Défense, Paris
Installation “Hain-Romantische Landschaft (Romantic Grove Landscape)” for the Ludwig Forum, Aachen
1991Installations in Central Park, New York, Installations on Martinique, Caribbean 
1990Installation planting “Erlkönig (Prototype)”near Caen, France.
Installations on the Ile de La Réunion in the Indian Ocean, Bourse Ministère de la Culture, Paris
1989Mahnmal “Bäume (Trees)” in Gasteig Cultural Center, Munich
1988Installations „Lavendelnest (Lavender Nest)” near Vaison-la-Romaine in the Provence, „Croix“ in  Parc de la Villette, Paris and “Bamboo-Nest“ in Fujino, Japan
1987Installations “To Hiroshige” in Takashimaya shopping center Tokyo and “Bamboo House” in Coimbra, Portugal
Works in Tel Hai, Israel. Solo Exhibit in Tokyo and in Coimbra
1986Works in Vassivière en Limousin, on Sylt and in Strasbourg
1984Installation „La forêt volante“, Lyon
1982Installations “Wasser-Haus (Water House)”, “Nordsee (North Sea)”, “Steinturm (Stone Tower)”, Nordhorn, “Großer Wasser-Altar (Large Water Altar),Pommersfelden Park
1978“Das Nest (The Nest)”, Lüneburger Heide
1973Installation-Planting “Hommage à Gustav Mahler“, Chiemgau, Northern Bavaria

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