there are in the exhibition of sculpture by Thomas Houseago at the Museum of modern art of the City of Paris (MAM) is something of a no-brainer. The highlight of the art walk to a not resolved to the unknown ( Walking Man , 1995, plaster, iron, jute, collection, Elsa Cayo, Brussels). The evidence of the dream that lives in the human being, the works, the ravage as a spell or a promise and propels it to action ( Snake , 2008, Tuf-Cal, hemp, iron concrete, Oilbar, graphite, wood, collection baron Guillaume Kervyn de Volkaersbeke). The evidence of the freedom that no convention does not stop, even if the ancient history and its masks are exposed, ancestors suddenly woken up – Untitled Face (Pink Tongue #2 / Green Face) , 1995, plaster, acrylic paint, wood.

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evidence of the form, all the forms, the profile and the hollow, the envelope and the interior, the finished and the unfinished. As if a sculptor was crossing first the mirror fragmented left by the cubism and the audacities of the “late Picasso”. As if the first man came out of his shell, of clay and ash and was changing in front of your eyes ( a Sitting Nude , 2006, Tuf-Cal, hemp, iron, Rubell Family Collection). Finally, there is the obvious space that the confrontation of the giants of Thomas Houseago at the Art deco architecture of the Palais de Tokyo emphasizes and magnifies, to the point that the boundaries of the story become transparent.

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Since the 2011 Venice Biennale, during which it had been difficult to avoid his monumental Man in a hurry placed at the bow of the Palazzo Grassi, Thomas Houseago is known as the white wolf of art. A British red-haired and light-skinned who sprinkles his work with owls totems, the symbol of his hometown of Leeds. A sculptor of 47 years, since 2003, embodies the revival of the stage of Los Angeles, this new Eldorado. “It could only have been marked by this new form of sculpture that mixed monumentality and fragility, as an affirmation energetic and its collapse, a ruin and its reconstruction,” says Fabrice Hergott, director of the MAM.

“In what way is it different?, asks Penelope Curtis, ex-director of Tate Britain, today the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon. The impression of a joint that seems deliberately awkward between the different parts of his sculptures can make one think of the composition of an exquisite corpse surrealist.” In fact, she said, “the figures of Houseago disappear, leave their costumes behind them, as if they left the scene”.

Thomas Houseago, Almost Human, the Museum of modern art of the City of Paris, 12-14, avenue de New York (Xvi). Tel.: 01 53 67 40 00. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10 h to 18 h. Night on Thursday, 22 h. Until 14 July 2019.

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