Having graduated from the Painting school at the Royal College of Art in 2000 Simon Willems has shown widely in both Solo and group exhibitions throughout Europe, North America and Asia. To date these have included amongst others solo projects at Torrance Art Museum (Los Angeles), Galerie Polaris (Paris), FRAC Auvergne (France),Elaine Levy Project (Brussels), Percymiller Gallery (London), Wallspace (New York) and Mark Moore Gallery (Santa Monica). He has participated in numerous group shows including projects at Galerie Forde espace Contemporain (Geneva), FRAC Haute-Normandie (France), RAID Projects (Los Angeles), Vegas Gallery (London), Galleri SE (Bergen) amongst others.
'In Willems' work, the material and the ephemeral constantly compete. In many works, there is a deftly negotiated presentation of what we understand to be represented. We are never completely sure if he is talking about the materialisation of the image –literally the manifestation of paint on canvas- or of the material of which its content is made. Figures, human bodies and entire landscapes often seem to be continually in the process of materialising and then dissolving. People negotiate fragmenting landscapes. Non-existent species and droids from other worlds experience the pains of human flesh in emotive vignettes. Aeroplanes unfurl their advertising banners over landscapes that appear to be fragmenting beneath them.'
Ken Pratt - 'WOUND'magazine (Autumn 2008)
‘An abstract-realist painter who plays with chance and perspective in the mold of Mark Tansey, British artist Simon Willems presents mixed-scale paintings of unattainable utopias, worlds where human connections are fleeting, if they ever existed at all. In his new group of paintings called "Cloud Music," a name more commonly associated with New Age meditation music, Willems's fascination with toppling towers and prehistoric scenes derives from the stoical presumption that somehow man stands above the decay and ruin of his time, even though, much like the ill-fated dinosaur, we are fast on the way to becoming a dying breed ourselves.’