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Thomas Houseago

Born 1972 in Leeds, England
Lives and works in Los Angeles, California

Thomas Houseago’s figurative sculptures appear physically imposing and powerful in their size and positioning yet fragmented and vulnerable in their construction. To build these works, Houseago begins with a structure of iron rods and then adds a variety of traditional sculptural materials such as plaster, hemp, and wood. Some of his works incorporate graphite or charcoal sketches of faces and anatomy on plaster and wood panels.

Monstrous yet unthreatening, this work— a part-human, part-animal being—is in a transitional pose between walking and crawling, weighted on the flat expanses of its plaster hands and feet. Houseago’s combination of sculpting and drawing challenges conventional aesthetic boundaries between three-dimensionality and flatness, monumentality and spontaneity. For the artist, Baby represents a hopeful “beginning,” one that nods affectionately to the riddle about the lifecycle of humans that the Sphinx posed to Oedipus: “What goes on four legs in the morning, on two legs at noon, and on three legs in the evening?”

Read about the artist

Aaron Curry, Thomas Houseago: Twofacetwo
Art Review (January 2010)

Thomas Houseago, Dieter Roth, and André Thomkins
Artforum (June 2009; note: registration required)

Thomas Houseago at David Kordanksy
Art in America Online (March 2009)

Thomas Houseago and Aaron Curry
W Magazine (November 2009)

In Defense of Acephalia
Mousse Magazine (2008)

Thomas Houseago, A Million Miles Away
The List (December 2007)