Simon Norfolk

Nigeria 1963


Simon Norfolk
Simon Norfolk
February 11, 2013
Music, Gestalt, .

Simon Norfolk is a landscape photographer whose work over the last ten years has been themed around a probing and stretching of the meaning of the word ‘battlefield’ in all its forms. As such, he has photographed in some of the world’s worst war zones and refugee crises, but is equally at home photographing supercomputers used to design military systems or test launches of nuclear missiles.

Simon was born in Lagos, Nigeria in 1963 and was educated in England finishing at Oxford and Bristol Universities with a degree in Philosophy and Sociology. Norfolk career has focused on the landscapes of war torn countries. His work show what is left behind in the ‘aftermath’ of genocide or war. Without the subjectiveness of most photojournalism, these landscapes allow the viewer to draw their own conclusion on the effects war.

He has produced three monographs of his work including ’Afghanistan:chronotopia’ (2002) which was published in five languages; ‘For Most Of It I Have No Words’ (1998) about the landscapes of genocide and ‘Bleed’ (2005) about the war in Bosnia. He has work held in major collections such as The Museum of Fine Art, Houston and Deutsche Burse Art Collection in Frankfurt and the collection of the British Council. In 2011, he published ‘Burke + Norfolk’, a re-discovery and rephotography of the photographer John Burke’s pictures from Afghanistan in the 1880s. It was shown at Tate Modern in London, making him one of the few photographers to ever be given a solo show there. He has been described by one critic as ‘the leading documentary photographer of our time. Passionate, intelligent and political; there is no one working in photography that has his vision or his clarity’.

In 2004 Simon won The Infinity Award from the ICP in New York and in 2005 Le Prix Dialogue in Arles. His most recent book ‘Bleed’ about the aftermath of the war in Bosnia, was published in 2005. His work appears regularly in the New York Times Magazine and the Guardian Weekend.

Year Exhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2009Full Spectrum Dominance: Missiles, Rockets, Satellites in America New York Photo FestivalGroup
2007Beautiful Suffering Photography And the Traffic in PainWilliams College Museum of Art, Massachussetts, USAGroup
2007Ingenuity (Engineering in Photography)The Calouste Gulbenkian, Foundation, Lisbon, PortugalGroup
2007Loaded Landscapes Museum of Contemporary Photography, ChicagoGroup
2007Aftershock Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art, Norwich, UKGroup
2007I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.’ La Médiatine, BrusselsGroup
2007‘I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.’McBride Fine Arts, AntwerpGroup
2007‘Archaeological Treasures from the Tigris Valley,’ Le Theatre Royal de Namur, BelgiumGroup
2007UntitledOgilvy and Mather, New YorkGroup
2007UntitledIllinois Holocaust Museum, Chicago, USAGroup
2007Break 2.4 International Art Festival, Ljubljana, SloveniaGroup
2006‘post-doc’ Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, GreeceGroup
2006UntitledNight of the Museums at Stifftung Deutsche Börse, FrankfurtGroup
2006EcotopiaThe 2nd ICP Trienial, International Center of Photography, New YorkGroup
2006Long Exposures: Contemporary photo-essays from the permanent collection Los Angeles County Museum of ArtGroup
2006Et in Arcadia ego The Halsey Gallery of the College of Charleston, South Carolina, USAGroup
2006Et in Arcadia ego Russian Academy of Fine Arts, MoscowGroup
2006I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that. The AoP Gallery, LondonGroup
2006Et in Arcadia ego, Shanghai Art MuseumGroup
2005Welcome to the Hotel Africa Lavitt’s Quay, Cork, IrelandSolo
2005Refuge Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh, Cork, Ireland Solo
2005Et In Arcadia Ego Bonni Benrubi Gallery, NYC Solo
2005Eastern Bosnia and Northern NormandyThe Photographers’ Gallery, London Solo
2005Bleed Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR, USA Solo
2005Et in Arcadia Ego Les Rencontres d’Arles, Arles, FranceSolo
2004Utah, Omaha, Gold, Sword, Juno. Galerie Martin Kudlek, Köln, Germany Solo
2004Scenes from a Liberated Iraq FotoFest, Houston; Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, CA Solo
2004Conflicted Landscapes The Photographers’ Gallery, London, UKSolo
2004Arti & Archittettura’ Palazzo Ducale, Genova, ItalyGroup
2003War Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, SpainGroup
2003IN NATURE - The obsessive eye the absent mind’, The 10th Turin Biennale, TurinGroup
2003Afghanistan: Chronotopia Benham Gallery, Seattle, WA; Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids, MI; Blue Star Art Space, San Antonio, TX... Group
2003For Most Of It I Have No Words: Genocide, Landscape, Memory The Society For Contemporary Photography, Kansas City, MOSolo
2003M_ARS Art and War Neue Gallerie Graz, AustriaGroup
2003The Citibank Prize The Photographers’ Gallery, LondonGroup
2003The Citibank Prize Museum Kunst Palast, DusseldorfGroup
2003The Citibank Prize Photo Espana, MadridGroup
2002Afghanistan: Chronotopia Trace Gallery, Weymouth, Dorset , UK; Minneapolis Center for Photography, Minneapolis, MN; T...Group
2002For Most Of It I Have No Words: Genocide, Landscape, Memory”Minneapolis Center for Photography, Minneapolis, MN; Photosynkyria, Thessaloniki, Greece... Group
2000For Most Of It I Have No Words: Genocide, Landscape, MemoryPortland Art Museum, Portland, OR; Imperial War Museum, LondonSolo
1999For Most Of It I Have No Words: Genocide, Landscape, Memory Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, UK; The Royal Photographic Society, Bath, UKSolo
1998For Most Of It I Have No Words: Genocide, Landscape, Memory Impressions Gallery, York, UKSolo