Hus Gallery is excited to present Rebirth, a select preview of works from Johan Van Mullem’s upcoming series The Origin of the World. The exhibition will feature a carefully curated group of works that represent the stylistic and thematic transition and development from Van Mullem’s last body of work, Movements of the Soul. These works are perhaps best described as the prequel to both Movements of the Soul and The Origin of the World. They are the beginning, or rather they are the Rebirth of Van Mullem’s brave new artistic world.
The new series will be exhibited for the first time this coming October in conjunction with the opening of Hus Gallery’s new location on Hanover Street. Rebirth will be shown in June to give viewers the opportunity to see the first few incredible works from the series that will be unveiled in the Fall of 2013. While still retaining elements of Van Mullem’s traditional style – a bold handling of paint, fluid brush strokes, and haunting figures – these new pieces are bursting with a wider range of colour and are much more abstract than what we have seen before. These pieces therefore, are best described as ‘teasers’ for what will be seen in The Origin of the World.
There is a clear movement in these works towards Van Mullem’s concept of creation or ‘origin’, as illustrated through their exploration of colour, of light, of form, and of movement. The faces depicted are moving back towards this ‘origin’ as atoms replace features, symbolizing the matter from which these figures once materialized. We also start to see the introduction of titles in these new works, a departure from the previous series where all pieces were Sans Titre, an indication of the more interactive and perhaps more informative role that the artist as creator plays in this series. However, despite these changes, what remains the same is Van Mullem’s ability to entice us to enter a world that is entirely his own creation.