Untitled, Vision Paintings 18Thomas Houseago
Three-color screen print on BFK Rives 300g paper,
embossed and enhanced manually by the artist
Series of 25 + 3 AP + 3 HC
Signed and dated by the artist
Thomas Houseago (born in Leeds in 1972, lives and works in Los Angeles) is internationally renowned for his monumental sculpture, for his strangely human monsters (Almost Human, if you remember the title of his retrospective at the Musée d'Art Moderne de Ville de Paris) of apparent incompleteness that sink, stagger, come to life or contemplate. His unique combination of materials, some traditional - wood, plaster, iron or bronze - some industrial - steel rods, concrete, or hessian - also places him in a line of sculptors who, from Constantin Brancusi to Bruce Nauman, have focused on the representation of the body in space. More specifically, all of Thomas Houseago's work unfolds through the embodiment of the human presence, from the anthropomorphic sculptures of his early days (L'Homme pressé, 2011, the giant sculpture that helped make him famous) to the video Cast Studio (Stage - Chairs - Bed - Mound - Cave - Bath - Grave) (2019), in which only the trace of the artist remains. His works question the violence of our world and our daily lives, and how History - stories, with their share of afflictions, even traumas - accidents, fractures, and recomposes the human body. Hence the recurrence in his work of chimerical figures with gaunt faces, angular bodies, and flayed skeletons. His works, with an ambivalence that oscillates between two- and three-dimensions, abstract and figurative, colossality and fragility, offer an interpretation of humanity at its most grandiose and most vulnerable.
Thomas Houseago's paintings were mainly created during the pandemic. The silhouettes are drawn with nervous strokes, some white and spectral, others made up of drips that pile up, superimpose, and tangle. They are representative of his work, filled with energy and tension. The various series of large-scale canvases ('Arizona Drawings', 'Vision Paintings', 'California Love Songs', 'Vortex Paintings', 'Resistance & Hope') are mainly produced outdoors, in places that are symbolic for the artist, such as Malibu, Big Sur, and Yosemite Valley. These works feature key elements such as the sun's rays, the moon, flowers, and the ocean. Executed in bright, vivid tones, they fully express the transcendental, emotional, and restorative power of painting, in its visceral relationship with nature. Above all, they attest that the artist's initiatory journey is as much psychological and inner as physical and outer.
In Untitled (Vision Paintings), the skull figure is a recurring motif for the artist, made up of a skeletal skeleton drawn with pencil and then covered with gold acrylic ink. In the set of serigraphs produced from this original work on paper, each print is individually enhanced with vibrant touches of paint. This edition has been produced at the occasion of the publication in 2023 by Éditions Dilecta of the monograph Vision Paintings, the first publication entirely dedicated to the artist's paintings and drawings.
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- work on paper
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