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Thomas Houseago: Vision Paintings

Aug 3, 2021

The Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium presented the exhibition ‘Vision Paintings’ with the transcendental work of Thomas Houseago.

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The work of Thomas Houseago has intrigued many for decades, with its extraordinary transcendental and healing power. Until last week, aficionados had the opportunity to marvel at his work at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium had delighted to announce a new exhibition by the artist. The exhibition ‘Vision Paintings’ presented large-scale paintings, drawings, and never previously exhibited journals.

The impressive work of Houseago’s work was also brought into confrontation with The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David. Bringing together neoclassical and contemporary works gives space to visit their formal differences as well as shared points of connection.

Moreover, the exhibition held landscape paintings that articulate a major new departure point for Houseago: Malibu, Los Angeles. These works give full expression to the emotive and restorative power of the artists’ practice. The landscape has long been a vital proportional reference point and context for his figurative sculptures, yet rarely visualized as an independent subject.

The transcendental works seem to be linked to creativity, inspiration, intuition, and enlightenment. Faces and figures emerge and an indeterminate, pitch-black space is shot through with scintillating flashes of pure, blinding color. While certain images allude to death and past trauma, yet others suggest a dynamic process of transformation.

The drawings which were included in the exhibition added a certain fragility, yet strength. Created using ink on translucent Japanese rice paper, they stood in stark contrast to the heavy impasto of the paintings. The delicate material feels as tenuous as the tissue of memories, dreams, and ideas it holds. The artist has spoken of how, in his youth, he would experience a sense of detachment that caused him to see his surroundings in terms of patterns.

The show Vision Paintings was on show at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium from 22 April— 1 August 2021.

Photo credit: Allard Bovenberg


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