Flowers New York,
Peter Howson’s paintings are not academic or didactic in the style of history painting, but the sublimation of revelatory personal narratives. Religious overtures are proceeded by confession, as intimate details of the artist’s familial and spiritual relationships punctuate the parables of his urban imagination.
The artist does not shy away from the role that Christianity plays in his life and work. Through this spiritual guidance the artist emerged from inner crisis. The dramatic and dynamic paintings of Hades, which make up the majority of this exhibition, depict the struggle to find hope in the dark excesses of existence. They reflect the suffering of a modern war-torn and technologically obsessed world, yet a sense of salvation can be found within.
Paying homage to Bosch and Brueghel, Howson crowds his canvases with figures of various shapes and sizes, including many familiar echoes from his previous works, writhing in agony and praying for redemption. This deliverance often appears as a radiant figure symbolising the painter’s daughter Lucie, another major factor in his road to recovery. In the painting Outcast Howson has used impastos to render a tranquil Christ, surrounded by a group of pariahs in search of atonement. This image could be deemed disturbing for many, however, as with a good deal of Howson’s paintings, there is a question here as to whom is the real outsider.