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GEORGIANA HOUGHTON: SPIRIT DRAWINGS. Simon Grant. Courtauld Gallery, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, 2016. Published by Paul Holberton Publishing, London. 84 pp. 21 x 21 cm. ISBN 9781911300021 In English.
Publisher's description: The birth of abstract art is typically associated with Kandinsky and others in the early 20th century. Houghton's work, however, predates this momentous artistic breakthrough by half a century. In this respect, she anticipates the Swedish artist Hilma af Klint (1862--1944), whose work is now appreciated for its significance in the early history of abstraction. Houghton was a prominent figure of the early spiritualist movement in Victorian England, which played a significant role in various spheres of 19th century culture and was later championed by such influential figures as Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Spiritualism emerged as the belief that contact with a spirit realm was possible and that such communication could bring one closer to God. Houghton, a trained artist as well as a medium, pioneered the use of drawing as a method of channeling and expressing communications with spirit entities. During the 1860s and 1870s, she produced a series of unprecedented abstract watercolors as part of her practice as a spirit medium. Houghton called these works 'spirit drawings'. Remarkably complex, layered watercolors and technically highly accomplished, their bold colors and fluid forms have a mesmerizing and deeply absorbing effect.
Artist(s):Houghton, Georgiana
Indexing: Western, Europe — Great Britain — 1800-1900 — Drawing and Watercolor — Women Artists
Plans: 73,75
Worldwide Number: 082629
Paperbound $24.00x (libraries receive a 10% discount on this title)    

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