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Thomas Houseago

b. 1972, United Kingdom

Midnight Mask, 2009


55.9 x 43.2 x 14 cm

Thomas Houseago's abstracted mask sculptures balance both mythical power and a sense of vulnerability. Using traditional materials like bronze and wood, as well as unconventional ones such as hemp and steel, he creates these mask-like faces that blur the line between two- and three-dimensional art. Across his career, Houseago has drawn inspiration from diverse sources such as William Blake, Picasso, African masks, and even Star Wars.

Midnight Mask, with its distinctly human yet eerie features, evokes dark and macabre imagery—skulls, death masks, and the iconic Darth Vader mask. Through the distorted human face, Houseago explores dualities in sculpture and personal practice—bridging historical and contemporary, dynamic and still, pop culture and fine art, and the timeless theme of life and death.

Houseago's collection of sculpted masks and figures continues the tradition of sculpture's connection to death. The enduring medium captures the gravity of life and loss throughout history.

Photo: Stephen Chung/LNP/Shutterstock

Thomas Houseago (b. 1972, United Kingdom)

Thomas Houseago is best known for his sculptures that present a distortion of the human form and its existential condition. Though his works are decidedly rooted in classical and modernist sculptural tradition, he melds the contemporary with the historical, utilising both traditional and unconventional materials to reference pop culture, mythology and art history.

Houseago studied at the Central Saint Martins’ College in London as well as at de Ateliers in Amsterdam. His recent exhibitions include LOVERS at TANK, China (2023), Thomas Houseago: Sculptures for Lovers at Centre Pompidou-Metz, France (2022), and WE at Sara Hildén Museum, Finland (2022). His works have also been featured at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Brussels, Belgium (2021), Royal Academy, UK (2019), and the Rockefeller Plaza, USA (2015).

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