Los Angeles based British artist Thomas Houseago’s “Almost Human” is a retrospective exhibition featuring his sculptures and paintings at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris (until July 14, 2019). The exhibition —with a title inspired by Leonard Cohen’s iconic song “Suzanne”—follows the evolution of Houseago’s work from the 1990s to present day experiments.
Houseago, after living in Brussels for eight years, moved to Los Angeles where in recent years he has enjoyed meteoric success. His large plaster “Baby” was included in the Whitney Biennial in 2010 and in 2011 “L’Homme Pressé” a tall bronze figure of a walking man, was installed in front of Palazzo Grassi on the Grand Canal in Venice during the Biennale.
For the most part chronological, the presentation is arranged into four rooms that represent major phases of the artist’s work beginning with his early anthropomorphic sculptures leading to his hybrid experiments. In addition to the work in the museum galleries, the exhibition includes a monumental work in bronze — “Striding Figure II” (Ghost)— installed outdoors on the museum’s esplanade.
Houseago’s most interesting works are his latest including the Somatic Paintings (2018) juxtaposed with his Black Painting Series (2016) displayed in a mise en scene shared with the bronze colossus “L’homme Pressé” standing in opposition to the horizontal “Wood Skeleton I” (Father).
The exhibition concludes with “Cast Studio” —an immersive sculpture installation— combining a monumental sculpture with objects and a film (co-produced with Muna El Fituri) depicting the artist’s studio as an all inclusive creative space. “The studio for me is the center of my life,” says Houseago. “It’s where all these things go on”
Thomas Houseago, “Almost Human” to July 14, 2019, at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris