Foundry Square III features two figure sculptures by artist Thomas Houseago, entitled “Boy III” and “Sleeping Boy.” These sculptures are accessible by the general public during business normal hours (8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.).
Thomas Houseago was born in Leeds, England in 1972. In 1989 he received a grant to attend a local art school called the Jacob Kramer Foundation College, and later continued his studies at Central St. Martin’s College of Art in London. After finishing college in London, Houseago attended De Ateliers in Amsterdam, after which he worked in Brussels for several years until 2004 when he moved to Los Angeles with his wife Amy Bessone.
Although Houseago had previously shown his work in Europe, his art has gone largely unrecognized in the United States until 2007 when a collector from Miami purchased eights of his sculptures. In 2008, Houseago had his first solo show in the United States titled Serpent, at the Los Angeles based David Kordansky Gallery. Houseago was inspired for that showing by Virgil’s The Aeneid and the Hellenistic masterwork Laocoon and His Sons.
Thomas Houseago draws inspiration for his art from the past, in particular, the myths of Ancient Greece. He portrays the human body with the abstraction of the modern era, while rejecting the late-modernist notion of the purity of materials. His intense and impatient personality is reflected in his art, which tends to be rough and crude at times. Houseago is drawn towards materials like plaster because of his ability to heap it on to his sculptures with little precision. These particular works, Boy III and Sleeping Boy, are cast bronze with a white patina finish, a new medium for Houseago.
Thomas Houseago’s sculptures advance a psychological hold over their viewers through a highly evolved artistic language that embodies multiple contradictions: his works are simultaneously three dimensional and flat; sculpture and drawing; sharply angular and bulbous. They exude menacing strength whilst at the same time conveying vulnerability. Their rough surfaced forms seem inchoate, yet sophisticated, to be strangely autonomous: they are empty and yet alive. (Foundry Square III – 505 Howard Street Art Program – Thomas Houseago)