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Thomas Houseago

Houseago’s sculptures, which range from monumental to smaller-scale works, have a striking ability to simultaneously convey states of power and vulnerability. The artist uses materials associated with classical and modernist sculpture (such as carved wood, clay, plaster and bronze), as well as the less traditional (steel rods, concrete and hessian), to emphatically reveal the creative processes that drive his practice. He typically combines elements rendered in flat portions of wood with others sculpted in the round, together with hand-drawn components that are cast and printed onto the works in a technical tour-de-force. Whilst Houseago’s oeuvre can be seen as a continuation of a historical sculptural tradition, the unusual combinations of materials, references to popular culture and the interplay between two- and three-dimensions all serve to challenge the hierarchy inherent within visual forms, and the materials and values with which they are associated. The artist also creates two-dimensional works on canvas and paper, which he describes as a cross between ‘drawing and mapping’. His more recent paintings, executed in a vivid array of hues, are an exploration of the emotional and spatial power of colour.

Thomas Houseago (b. 1972, Leeds, UK) studied art at London’s Central St Martin’s college in the early 1990s before moving to Amsterdam to study at de Ateliers. He subsequently lived in Brussels for several years, where he had his first solo show with Xavier Hufkens. In 2004, he moved to Los Angeles where he continues to live and work. Recent exhibitions include LOVERS, TANK Shanghai, China (2023); Thomas Houseago: Sculptures for Lovers, Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz, France (2022); WE, Sara Hildén Museum, Tampere, Finland (2022); VISION PAINTINGS, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels (2021); Almost Human, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France (2019); Royal Academy, London, UK (2019); Lovers, Le Consortium, Dijon, France (2015–2016); Masks (Pentagon), Rockefeller Plaza, New York, USA (2015); Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, The Netherlands (2014); and Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York, USA (2013).

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Selected Images

Selected media

  • In conversation with Michel Draguet

    On the occasion of Vision Paintings at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium (2021)

  • In conversation with Anne Pontégnie

    On the occasion of Constructions (2018)