Thomas Houseago brings a vanguard approach to sculpture’s original subject, the human body. Utilising mediums associated with classical and modernist sculpture—such as carved wood, clay, plaster, and bronze—as well as less traditional materials like rebar and hemp, Houseago builds monumental figures rife with the traces of their making. Body parts rendered from flat portions of wood adjoin others sculpted in the round to create an interplay between two- and three-dimensional elements. His bulky-shouldered figures replace the grace of their serpentine contrapposto stance with awkward contortions of piecemeal appendages. Crouched and stilted on thick limbs, these reductive interpretations convey a striking sense of weight and anatomical structure. By tapping into the nuanced legibility of the human form, Houseago’s figures oscillate between states of power and of vulnerability.Read More
Houseago was born in 1972 in Leeds, England. He studied at Jacob Kramer College, Leeds, England from 1990 to 1991, received a BA in 1994 from Saint Martin’s School of Art, London, and studied at De Ateliers, Amsterdam, from 1994 to 1996. Recent exhibitions of Houseago’s work include Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam (1996); Thomas Houseago, I Am Here, Selected Sculptures 1995–2003, Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent, Belgium (2003); A Million Miles Away, Modern Institute, Glasgow, Scotland (2007); There’s a Crack in Everything, That’s How the Light Gets In, Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin (2009); The Artist’s Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2010); What Went Down, Modern Art Oxford, England (2010, travelled to Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, England; Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, Germany; and Centre International d’Art et du Paysage de l’Ile de Vassivière, Beaumont-du-Lac, France, through 2011); Amy Bessone and Thomas Houseago, Rennie Museum, Vancouver, Canada (2010); The Beat of the Show, Inverleith House, Edinburgh, Scotland (2011); The World Belongs to You, Palazzo Grassi, Venice (2011); Where the Wild Things Are and Hermaphrodite, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich, England (2012); Striding Figure/Standing Figure, Galleria Borghese, Rome (2013); As I Went Out One Morning, Storm King Art Center, Cornwall, New York (2013); Studies ’98–’14, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Netherlands (2014); and Masks (Pentagon), Rockefeller Center Plaza, New York (2015). His work was included in the 2010 Whitney Biennial. Houseago has collaborated with the New York Public Art Fund on two public sculptures: Statuesque (2010) and Masks (Pentagon) (2015).
Houseago lives and works in Los Angeles.
Text courtesy Gagosian.
Artists and art spaces and museums and galleries, we're all part of a complex phenomenon. You walk into an exhibition, you never really know what it's about. You walk in and go 'What is this?' It is a
Thomas Houseago's drawing studio, in the Frogtown neighborhood of Los Angeles, is smartly outfitted with plywood bookshelves, comfortable couches, and a low table perennially laid out with a stainless
Creature, a thematic exhibition at The Broad, is one of those shows, like the recently opened Raymond Pettibon: A Pen of All Work at the New Museum in New York, whose meanings and context have bee