Skip to Content

Thomas Houseago
Lying Figure

May 18, 2012 – March 14, 2013
On the High Line at Little West 12th Street

Known for using materials like wood, clay, plaster, steel, and bronze, Thomas Houseago creates monumental sculptures that reveal the process of their making through unique details – the varying texture of a molding, the hidden creases within a cast – despite their imposing size and towering forms. His sculptures also incorporate drawing in the form of sketches on plaster and wood panels. Houseago’s work explores abstract lines and figurative forms, and in doing so he joins a long tradition of sculptors that spans from Giacometti to Picasso, engaging viewers with qualities that are at once impressive and enchanting.

For the High Line, Houseago presents Lying Figure, a 15-foot-long bronze sculpture of a headless giant resting on its elbows on the wooden rail ties between the High Line’s original rail tracks. Houseago’s Lying Figure juxtaposes Lilliput, the group exhibition that debuted on Thursday, April 19. Lilliput takes its title from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, and conjures a magical world populated by fairy tale creatures, mysterious idols, and dreamlike landscapes. Houseago’s Lying Figure introduces the presence of a giant – the park’s own Gulliver – into Lilliput’s diminutive sculptures installed along the park’s pathway and amidst the plants.

(1-4) Photo by Austin Kennedy; (5-6) Photo courtesy of Friends of the High Line.

Thomas Houseago

Thomas Houseago (b. 1972, England) lives and works in Los Angeles. Houseago has been the subject of solo exhibitions at international venues such as Galleria Borghese, Rome (2013); Gagosian Gallery, Rome (2013); Hauser & Wirth, London and Zurich (2012); Centre international d’art et du paysage de l’île de Vassivière, Vassivière, France (2011); Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, Germany (2011); and the Ballroom Marfa, Texas (2009), among others. His work has also been included in a number of group exhibitions at venues such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Chapelle de l’École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.


This High Line Art Commission is presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. High Line Art Commissions are made possible by Donald R. Mullen, Jr., additional support from Vital Projects Fund, Inc. This program is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and from the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State's 62 counties.

Back to top