Swan Song – F. van Hout
The works in F. van Hout’s Swan Song invite the viewer in with familiar abstract territory, giving way to a delightful depth and movement.
Earth and flesh tones are captured through a bridging of abstract painting’s various languages. Soft hazy grounds surround the defined edges while translucencies recede and pull the forms. Stripped and reworked layers give a textural depth to the finished surface, as ghostly forms of previous painted or planned iterations show through in the final works.
One can trace these paintings through F. van Hout’s various bodies of work shown at City Art Depot. As he did in Painted Red Paintings and the Every Tom, Dick and Harry works, he returns to geometric forms, drawing from underlying facial shapes. However, instead of attaching shapes to the frame of each image, here he suspends them in space. This more challenging sense of balance was explored in the abstract fields he painting in 2017’s de void.
These mixed surfaces combine methods of abstraction, such as the scraping of Gerhard Richter, with the geometric language of Russian supremacists like Kazimir Malevich. An obsessive performance of repainting, reworking, retexturing brings each piece to its final staging – or swan song.