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Thomas Houseago
Sculptures for Lovers

7 May 2022—24 April 2023
Centre Pompidou - Metz, France

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Thomas Houseago has created a unique installation for the Forum of the Pompidou-Metz, Sculptures for Lovers, presented in two parts in the spring and fall of 2022.

In May, Houseago hung three monumental unstretched canvases – Moon Wane, Sunrise / Set, and Bucha – from the roof of the museum producing a dialog with the architecture. Made at his studio in California outdoors and exposed to the elements, these paintings mark a new stage in his work. Nature has always been an inspiration for the artist, but here it is the main subject, the source of a cosmic energy that he seeks to capture. The force of nature and the destructive power of living beings are also expressed in the work Bucha, made in response to the massacres perpetrated by the Russians in Ukraine.

In the fall, the artist began using the museum as an extension of his studio. New paintings, sculptures, and assemblages – A Full Day of Love, Demon Story Tapestry, Portal Tapestry, Demon Protector, Episode Sculpture (Back to Leeds), Ghost of a painting, and Miraval Owl – made at the Château de Miraval, in the south of France, have accumulated in the exhibition space where visitors can move around freely. Breaking down the boundaries between different media, the artist has created new narratives in the course of his travels.

Mixing memories, history, and poetry, Houseago has set up an almost theatrical scene that echoes the first verses of Dante’s ”Inferno“ from the Divine Comedy – “Midway upon the journey of our life...” Seeking to escape the dark forest in which he is trapped, the poet encounters three ferocious beasts, symbols of lust, pride, and greed: a leopard, a lion, and a wolf. Then Dante meets the spirit of Virgil, who promises that he can climb the sun-drenched mountain in the distance, after a long journey through Hell leading to Paradise.