Xavier Hufkens is pleased to present Constructions, an exhibition of new sculptures and paintings by Thomas Houseago. This is the artist’s fifth exhibition with the gallery.
Known for figurative sculpture and immersive architectural environments, Thomas Houseago has established a sculptural and painting practice using a wide range of mediums, including traditional, low-grade materials such as plywood, plaster, hemp, graphite, iron rebar, charcoal, as well as, bronze and aluminum. Houseago’s life-sized and monumental sculptures have appeased his natural tendency to work in a scale that requires a physical struggle, as well as performative and exhaustive efforts. His sculptures and paintings evoke a sense of urgency, dynamism and vulnerability.
Artists such as Giacometti, Rodin, Brancusi and Calder have long fascinated Houseago with their ability to project intentions of monumentality onto their sculptural models. In Constructions the artist presents new assemblage sculptures, originally fabricated in plywood and questions the conditions of monumentality by taking “a very meditative and almost performative stance” to his relationship with scale. The basis for these works are sketches. Their movement from drawing to wood cuts and from wood to metal traces their making and establishes solid form through actions and transitions. The sculptures combine topics the artist has long been captivated by: the walking figure, the head and face, the reclining figure, the owl.
A new series of paintings, fragmented faces in charcoal, graphite, and colored pencil further explore Houseago’s fracturing process. “My paintings often come from the drawings, but what goes on in the paintings will then feed the sculptures.” In this cyclical and interlinked process Houseago takes us through his personal relationship with forms within space, and the traditions of building structures, memories, and experiences.