Lori Van Houten

The Gallery at R&F is pleased to present a solo exhibit by Lori Van Houten entitled Reverse Migration & Other Stories. The exhibit title is inspired by the practice, in some species of small birds, of migrating in the wrong direction. Caused by a genetic anomaly, they navigate, for example, north rather than south in the autumn. Surprisingly, some of these birds survive and continue to repeat this pattern each year.

The practice of reverse migration aptly conveys the concepts explored in Van Houten’s work. Photographing iconic farm and field structures, human habitats and landscape she meditates on losing one’s way, on seeking home, adapting, and survival. The exhibit’s title piece, like others in the exhibit, conveys a sense of loss, even decay, but also suggests what is recoverable and can be brought back and made to live.

The exhibit features installations of photographs, originally photographed with a Polaroid camera, printed on cotton paper, and variously coated in encaustic medium. Van Houten’s landscape narratives require the observer to change viewing position and distance from image to image, like the attention of a passenger on a train. The wax on these images acts as a distorting window on each subject, distancing the viewer from the landscapes while contributing to the compositional rhythm of each piece.

The photographs are grouped on steel shelves or simply pinned to the wall. They form narrow lines suggesting a broad horizon or line of poetry. The two modes of installation, one ephemeral, one more permanent, underscore the content of the photographs.

Van Houten has exhibited her artwork internationally. She has been awarded recent residencies in County Kerry, Ireland, and Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. Her work is in the collections of the New York Public Library, the International Center of Photography, St. Louis Art Museum, as well as university and corporate collections. Van Houten received a BFA from Syracuse University and MFA from Southern Illinois University. She is the former director of PS 209 Gallery and lives in Stone Ridge, NY.

The Gallery at R&F promotes contemporary uses of oil paint and encaustic. The Gallery is housed in R&F Handmade Paints, 84 Ten Broeck Avenue, in Mid-town, Kingston, NY 12401. For further information call please call 845-331-3112 or contact Pamela Blum, Curator at the Gallery for R&F, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



  • Reception: Saturday, February 6th, 5-7pm
  • Start Date: Saturday, 06 February 2016
  • End Date: Saturday, 16 April 2016
  • Archive: 2016