and Storm, 1956, oil on
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To see Houthuesen's development over 60 years
BBC Documentary on the Artist's Life
Introduction to the Artist's biography 'Walk To The Moon'
Walk To The Moon – The Story of Albert Houthuesen
'Walk To The Moon' is the first comprehensive,
illustrated publication devoted to the life and work of Albert Houthuesen. The book is
based on conversations with his biographer Richard Nathanson. Told in the
artist’s own words and images, it describes a story unique in the history of art
– both for its particular childhood tragedy; and the way this has imbued
Houthuesen’s art with a unifying vision that stands alone.
Albert Houthuesen was born in Amsterdam but moved
to London in 1912, following the sudden death of his father at the hand of his
demented wife. During the twenties, Houthuesen worked at The Royal College of
Art with Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Edward Burra, Ceri Richards and Cecil
Collins. And thereafter in isolation.
Walk to the Moon is the English translation of the
Dutch expression Loop Naar de Maan meaning ‘Forget it’. It was how
Houthuesen’s mother would respond whenever as a child, he asked her for painting
'Best Books of 2008'
Houthuesen was a Dutch-English
modernist, whose life story forms one of the most sensational, offbeat,
affecting artist’s biographies I have encountered. Told mostly in his own
words, it is illustrated with his strange religious paintings, portraits –
especially the sombre but high-colour clowns – and landscapes.
Wullschlager Chief Art Critic
Published by The Putney Press
250 Illustrated works (106 in colour) 93 Photographs
Hardback 10 x 7 ½ inches (25.5 x 19cms) Price £25
ISBN – 978-0-9516219-2-9
Copies available from:
Tel: 00 44 (0)208 788 2718
Richard Nathanson gives talks (also for charity) on Albert Houthuesen showing his
development over sixty years. And how his work directly reflects his unique
story and philosophy. Included is a short extract from his 1976 BBC
film on Houthuesen's life.
Richard Nathanson’s presentation ‘Walk to the Moon - The Story of Albert
Houthuesen’ was enormously enjoyable. And full of passion, conviction
and marvellous clarity – rare in a lecturer these days.
intriguing, complicated figure Houthuesen is. I was particularly taken
by the expressive power of his landscapes. They seem to me to be his
most formally audacious and daring inventions, imbued with a remarkable
Curator of Post 1800 Paintings, National Gallery, London.
Through an engaging, superbly presented performance, Richard Nathanson
became the artist Albert Houthuesen. Taking the audience on a journey
that charted the artist’s life and work, by combining his words spoken
to Richard over 40 years ago, with showing part of the very moving BBC
documentary and beautifully sharp projected images of his pictures, the
effect was spellbinding.
Richard has, through his passion, brought to
life this fascinating, overlooked artist. A thoroughly enjoyable and
informative event I can recommend to anyone.
Manager, Waterstone’s, Putney.
fascinating one-hour talk included the dramatic beginning of the 1976 BBC
documentary-interview with the artist, followed by Nathanson reading from
his biography the artist’s words which accompanied projected pictures
showing his development over sixty years.
was very well-received by a capacity audience. And vividly conveyed
Houthuesen’s mystical imagination. The consequences of his mother’s murder
of his artist-father were poignantly described. Also Houthuesen’s isolation
from the mainstream ‘art world’, his poverty and neglect. Nathanson’s calm,
understated delivery very effectively brought home these things.
The talk ‘a
walk through the mind’ of a visionary artist in love with nature, fulfilled
all the criteria for bringing to life and inspiring interest in an artist
who deserves much wider recognition.
Organiser for Westminster Art
I suspect that Houthuesen will come to be seen as one of the great figures
in post-World War II Western Art. This will be facilitated by
the new mood that is perceptible in the art world. The current
emphasis on pranks, from Damien Hirst to Jeff Koons to Murakami, may not
International Herald Tribune.
Click here to visit www.richardnathanson.co.uk