Thomas Houseago 

“My sculptures are very rarely a manifestation of power, they are power and vulnerability, statement and disillusion.”

Thomas Houseago

In the mid-2000s, Thomas Houseago established his career with monumental sculptures of hulking, skeletal figures and hollow-eyed masks. Employing traditional materials—clay, plaster, wood, and bronze—as well as iron rebar and hemp, he constructs chimerical sculptures that reveal the process of their making. Passages of preparatory drawing in graphite or charcoal remain on the finished work, as do handprints and trowel marks. With raw, rough-hewn surfaces that bridge sculpture and drawing, these figures consider questions of masculinity and its relationship to violence, power, and fragility. At once massive and fractured, geological and improvised, imposing and vulnerable, they hold conflicting qualities together. Around 2014, Houseago began working with immersive architectural installations, creating environments characterized by progressive spaces and plaster walls. Soon, he turned to painting, continuing his exploration of the human form and investigating the medium’s capacity for meditation, movement, catharsis, and energetic expression. In recent years, following a period of recovery from traumatic stress, Houseago began painting still-lifes and landscapes. Painted en plein air and in the artist’s studio in Malibu, California, the canvases reflect transcendental and restorative experiences with nature.

Born in 1972 in Leeds, England, Houseago attended Jacob Kramer College, Leeds, where he set out doing performance work (1990–91). In 1994 he received a degree from Central Saint Martins College of Art in London, and from 1994 to 1996 he attended De Ateliers in Amsterdam, where he studied with Marlene Dumas. He lived in Brussels for eight years before moving in 2003 to Los Angeles, where he lives and works today. In 2010, Houseago’s first major museum solo exhibition was organized by the Modern Art Oxford and Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford (traveled to Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, Germany; and Centre International d’Art et du Paysage de l’Ile de Vassivière, Beaumont-du-Lac, France) and he participated in the Whitney Biennial in New York. The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris organized a mid-career retrospective in 2019. Houseago’s work has otherwise been the subject of recent exhibitions at Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York (2013); Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Netherlands (2014); Le Consortium, Dijon, France (2015); Royal Academy, London (2019); Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels (2021); Sara Hildén Museum, Tampere, Finland (2022); and Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz, France (2022).

Exhibitions

    • Thomas Houseago: All Together Now
    • L&M Arts, Los Angeles
      January 22 - March 5, 2011
    • L&M Arts, Los Angeles was honored to present All Together Now, an exhibition of new work by Los Angeles-based artist Thomas Houseago. This exhibition marked the artist’s first show with the gallery. Houseago, known for his exploration of the human figure, presented an impressive array of new sculptures, in forms both familiar and entirely new, and will showcase them in every material in his repertoire: plaster, bronze, aluminum, and wood. The artist also addressed the installation with a fresh perspective, animating the gallery spaces both inside and out. Houseago is k...

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Selected Artworks

Selected Press