Thomas Houseago was born in Leeds, England in 1972. He studied at the St. Martin’s College of Art and De Ateliers in Amsterdam. He lived and worked for several years in Brussels before moving to Los Angeles.
Houseago is a sculptor whose powerful work looks back at the past and yet remains utterly contemporary. He often works in traditional materials - bronze, wood, plaster, mediums that were considered outdated as he began his career in the early nineties as the Young British Artists were at the height of their influence. Houseago remained committed to exploring the domain of figuration through the methods of molding, carving and casting. His work often takes the form of monumental figures, in both classic and primitive poses, but the way in which they are fashioned is where they become totally new.
Houseago plays a formal game, manipulating volume, relief, anatomy and a tension between dimensions. Body parts are impossibly linked together, and realistically rendered limbs lead to drawn representations of others. This visual play gives these hulking figures a sense of fragility and awkwardness while remaining imposing and dynamic at the same time.
These works often reveal their making as well, with their skeletons of iron bars exposed, raw edges from jigsaw cuts, and plaster and hemp slathered on the forms. They are sensually and crudely constructed, as if the artist, who is their maker, is also in a physical battle with these figures. In the end, however, he gives new life to these classic forms.
Houseago has recently shown in Glasgow, Berlin, London, Milan, Brussels, New York, Los Angeles and Arnhem (Sonsbeek 2008).