July 14, 2014

Art Basel HK 2014: Thomas Houseago

Thomas Houseago (1972 - present) is a British contemporary visual artist. He works primarily in sculpture, with classical sculpture materials such as bronze, metal, and plaster and with lo-fi materials such as clay and plywood, among others. 

Primarily focused on the human body, Houseago's sculptures are typically gigantic and almost Frankenstein-ish; they also bring to mind the African and Iberian masks that inspired the Cubist works of artists such as Gauguin, Matisse, and Picasso, and the golem - an entity formed of clay and brought to life by a rabbi, as legend goes. The unfinished-like nature of his work (exposed pencil lines, piecemeal body parts) conveys motion, as seen in his sculpture Baby.

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Thomas Houseago, Baby; Tuf-Cal, hemp, iron rebar, wood, graphite, charcoal  

This year at the Art Basel HK edition, Houseago was represented by the Gagosian Gallery. I was quite caught with his triptych. The masks hearken back to Picasso's tribal faces; the layering of lines and different blue tones, Georges Braque's collages and Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2. See if you see the similarities!
Houseago's triptych
Braque, Portrait of a Woman

Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2, oil on canvas

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