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Hauser & Wirth Outdoor Sculpture, Southwood Garden, London, in collaboration with St James's Church, Piccadilly 24 June–October 2013
With each of Thomas Houseago's enigmatic works, the artist injects sculpture with elements of craft and folk art, the natural and supernatural world, and the masters of modern art. Hauser & Wirth is currently presenting Houseago's Rattlesnake Figure (aluminum) in Southwood Garden as part of Hauser & Wirth Outdoor Sculpture. The sculpture will be on view through the summer.
Rattlesnake Figure (aluminum) was inspired by the venomous snakes that the artist found outside his home in the Tujunga area of Los Angeles CA. Neither male nor female, the figure strikes a seductive, alluring pose. One arm is draped over its head as if reclining, yet its posture is proud and upright. A large eye etched into the figure's face looks out at the viewer blankly, whilst the rest of the body is turned away, viewable only in profile. Despite its silver aluminium finish, the sculpture retains the coarsely hewn form of the original work from which it was cast, carved with a chainsaw from a massive block of redwood.
Whilst the sculpture's totemic form and rough edges recall folk art, the work's fractured multitude of viewpoints and angular distortions speaks to Houseago's fascination with early Cubism and the art of Picasso.
Born in Leeds, England, Thomas Houseago currently lives and works in Los Angeles CA. Houseago's recent solo exhibitions include 'I'll be your sister' and 'Special Brew', Hauser & Wirth London, England (2012); 'The mess I'm looking for', Hauser & Wirth Zürich, Switzerland (2012); 'Where The Wild Things Are', Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich, England (2012); 'The Beat of the Show', Inverleith House, Edinburgh, Scotland (2011); and the major touring exhibition 'What Went Down' at Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, Germany, realized in cooperation with Modern Art Oxford, England and the Centre International d'Art et du Paysage de l'lle de Vassivière, France where the show was on view in summer 2011.
Houseago's current solo exhibitions include 'Striding Figure/Standing Figure', Galleria Borghese, Rome, Italy (until 7 July); and 'As I Went Out One Morning', Storm King Art Center, Mountainville NY, USA (until 11 November).
St James's Church
London W1J 9LL