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
From the Quarterly
Fairs, Events & Announcements
Thomas Houseago will be honored at the De Ateliers Gala in Amsterdam on March 8, 2018. Founded in 1963 in Haarlem by artists, De Ateliers is an international institute that helps young artists to develop their talent through a two-year program. Houseago was a participant from 1994 to 1996.
Photo: Muna El Fituri © Thomas Houseago
January 11–14, 2018, booth 209
Fort Mason Center, San Francisco
Gagosian is pleased to participate in FOG Design+Art Fair 2018, presenting a selection of works by Davide Balula, Alexander Calder, Helen Frankenthaler, Piero Golia, Mark Grotjahn, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Houseago, Mike Kelley, Giuseppe Penone, Sterling Ruby, Ed Ruscha, Taryn Simon, Jeff Wall, and others.
Mark Grotjahn, Untitled (African II, Gated Front and Back Mask M44.e), 2015 © Mark Grotjahn. Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio
2017 Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Gala Auction
Live auction: July 26
Online preview: July 27–August 9
Online bidding: August 10–23
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is dedicated to protecting the world’s last wild places. Since 2008 it has supported over 200 environmental projects across all five oceans and in over fifty countries. This auction helps make it possible for the Foundation to continue supporting pioneering individuals and organizations on the front lines of environmental conservation and climate advocacy, and will feature donated artworks by Urs Fischer, Frank Gehry, Damien Hirst, Thomas Houseago, Jeff Koons, Pablo Picasso, Sterling Ruby, Ed Ruscha, Rudolf Stingel, Lawrence Weiner, and Jonas Wood.
Thomas Houseago, Rainbow I (Psychedelic), 2017
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
Thomas Houseago in
December 5, 2017–April 30, 2018
Elgiz Museum, Istanbul
In Fact focuses on the concepts of representation and the act of referring. The exhibition includes works from different media and investigates the models of representation through the referred. Work by Thomas Houseago is included.
Thomas Houseago, Roman Masks II, 2013 © Thomas Houseago
Proof of Life
May 19, 2017–February 25, 2018
Weserburg | Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen, Germany
Proof of Life brings together one hundred paintings, sculptures, and photographic works that investigate existential questions in a manner both palpable and profound. Work by Damien Hirst, Thomas Houseago, Anselm Kiefer, Sterling Ruby, and Richard Serra is included.
Installation view, Proof of Life, Weserburg | Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen, Germany, May 19, 2017–February 25, 2018. Photo: Björn Behrens
The Marciano Collection
May 25–September 16, 2017
Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles
Unpacking: The Marciano Collection is the debut presentation of the collection’s holdings organized by Philipp Kaiser. The title and theme of the show are derived from Walter Benjamin’s essay “Unpacking My Library,” in which he discusses the chaotic potentiality inherent in unpacking and recontextualizing one’s collection. Work by Mark Grotjahn, Thomas Houseago, Alex Israel, Takashi Murakami, Albert Oehlen, Sterling Ruby, Cindy Sherman, Franz West, Jonas Wood, and Christopher Wool is included.
Photo by Robert Wedemeyer