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
"Thomas Houseago, Dieter Roth, and André Thomkins"
—Artforum (June 2009)
"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)
2010 artist Thomas Houseago discusses the inspiration for his sculpture, Baby, and describes how the sculpture travelled from L.A. to the Whitney Museum for the Biennial.