fbpx Biennale Arte 2022 | Georgiana Houghton
La Biennale di Venezia

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Georgiana Houghton

1814, Spain – 1884, UK


  • TUE - SUN
    23/04 > 25/09
    11 AM - 7 PM

    27/09 > 27/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
     
  • Central Pavilion
  • Admission with ticket

Georgiana Houghton spent most of her life in Victorian-era London, a period which saw the rise in a host of beliefs in supernatural forces and energies. Spiritualism, which elaborated a method of communicating with the dead through mediums, was popularised in England in the 1850s, where it quicky saturated literary and artistic culture. For Houghton, Spiritualism enabled a closer relationship to God, even if her religious approach was not necessarily orthodox. Throughout the 1860s and 1870s, she translated that religious ferocity into her “spirit drawings,” a multifaceted series of abstract works on paper. In October of 1865, Houghton claimed to come into contact with spiritual guides inhabiting a realm beyond the physical world. She documented the instructions she received during these encounters in distinctive automatic pencil drawings and abstract watercolours. In The Flower of William Stringer (1866), a knot  of spiralling and straight lines flow in red, sepia, and blue waves. The Spiritual Crown of Annie Mary Howitt Watts (1867) is made of rhythmically layered curls of white, cranberry, and orange. Houghton’s aim, as she wrote in her 1881 autobiography, was “to show. . . the Light now poured upon mankind by the restored power of communion with the unseen.”

Madeline Weisburg

Central Pavilion
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Biennale Arte
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