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Thomas Houseago’s “Recovery Works” opens September 3 at Xavier Hufkens in Brussels. —As the title suggests, the show proposes a return to health after the experience of a number of destabilizing events. It offers a look inside Houseago’s mind, giving testimony to the therapeutic nature of painting during his search for renewal.
The exhibition is both deeply personal and rooted in traditional European art, alluding to landscapes like Edvard Munch’s The Sun, and others who turned to nature in times of crisis. They were made in Malibu, CA and focus on its landscape as the central subject matter, embodying a primal luminescence in depictions of natural elements like the sun, moon, flowers, trees, and dew. They permeate with literal and figurative light, like a sun in a multicolored sky setting over palm trees and a lush scene of greenery, illuminated by a glowing yellow light.
Open about his past traumas and struggles, Houseago’s practice has always acted as a means of escape and a way to process—dating back to drawings made during childhood. Other influences include music, like memories of his father playing The Beatles’s Magical Mystery Tour, which makes an appearance in the psychedelic hues and compositional patterns. “Recovery Works” is on view through October 10.