Thomas Houseago brings a vanguard approach to sculpture’s original subject, the human body. Utilizing 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.
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, traveled 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.
January 12–February 16, 2017
Psychedelic Brothers – Drawn Paintings
May 27–August 13, 2016
The Medusa and Other Heads
May 12–June 13, 2015
Park & 75, New York
June 4–July 26, 2013
Six additional acres have been added to the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The expansion features twenty-six new works including Frank Gehry’s Bear With Us (2014) and Thomas Houseago’s Striding Figure (Rome I) (2013).
Left: Frank Gehry, Bear With Us, 2014 © Frank Gehry. Right: Thomas Houseago, Striding Figure (Rome I), 2013 © Thomas Houseago. Photos: Roman Alokhin
Friday, June 28, 2019, 6:30–7:30pm
Royal Academy of Arts, London
Thomas Houseago will speak with Edith Devaney, contemporary curator at the Royal Academy of Arts. The pair will discuss Houseago’s installation as part of the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition along with the artist’s wider career as a contemporary sculptor. To attend the event, purchase tickets at royal academy.org.uk.
Thomas Houseago's Annenberg Courtyard installation, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2019. Artwork © Thomas Houseago. Photo: Lucy Dawkins
Art Basel Hong Kong
March 29–31, 2019, booth 1C18
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
Gagosian is pleased to participate in Art Basel Hong Kong 2019, with works by Georg Baselitz, Edmund de Waal, Urs Fischer, Katharina Grosse, Andreas Gursky, Duane Hanson, Damien Hirst, Thomas Houseago, Yayoi Kusama, René Magritte, Giorgio Morandi, Takashi Murakami, Albert Oehlen, Nam June Paik, Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, Rachel Whiteread, Jonas Wood, Christopher Wool, Zao Wou-Ki, Zeng Fanzhi, and others.
Zeng Fanzhi, Rooster, 2019 © 2019 Zeng Fanzhi
RA Summer Exhibition 2019
Through August 12, 2019
Royal Academy of Arts, London
Running annually since 1769, the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open-submission art show. It brings together art in all mediums—prints, paintings, film, photography, sculpture, architectural works and more—with some 1,200 works on display, many of them for the first time. Work by Michael Craig-Martin, Thomas Houseago, and Anselm Kiefer is included.
Thomas Houseago, Blue Owl, 2018 © Thomas Houseago
An exhibition dedicated to the memory of Michael Stanley
Through September 8, 2019
Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, England
This exhibition, dedicated to the memory of former Ikon director Michael Stanley, is structured loosely on Rex Warner’s 1941 wartime novel The Aerodrome, a book that made a great impression on Stanley. The show features many of the artists he worked with, including Michael Craig-Martin, Thomas Houseago, and Jenny Saville.
Michael Craig-Martin, Untitled (shoe), 2009 © Michael Craig-Martin
March 15–July 14, 2019
Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris
This exhibition traces the different phases of Thomas Houseago’s development as an artist, from his work in the 1990s to his latest creations, which include a completely new installation produced specifically for the occasion.
Installation view, Thomas Houseago: Almost Human, Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, March 15–July 14, 2019. Artwork © Thomas Houseago. Photo: Thomas Lannes
Collection François Pinault
June 23–September 9, 2018
Couvent des Jacobins and Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rennes, France
The city of Rennes will host an exhibition of works from the Pinault collection under the title “Debout!”. More than sixty works by twenty renowned artists will be on display in locations and institutions around the city. Work by Duane Hanson, Thomas Houseago, and Tatiana Trouvé will be included.
Thomas Houseago, Baby, 2009–10 © Thomas Houseago