The Public Domain Review

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“The Substantiality of Spirit”: Georgiana Houghton’s Pictures from the Other Side

Wednesday 21 February 2024 at 16:15

When Georgiana Houghton first exhibited her paintings at a London gallery in 1871, their wild eddies of colour and line were unlike anything the public had seen before — nor would see again until the rise of abstract art decades later. But there was little intentionally abstract about these images: Houghton painted entities she met in the spirit regions. Viewing her works through the prism of friendship, loss, and faith, Jennifer Higgie turns overdue attention on an artist neglected by historians, a visionary who believed that death was not the end, merely a new distance to overcome.