Bottle II (original)


Tuf-cal, hemp, iron rebar

304.8 x 109.2 x 114.3 cm (120 x 43 x 45 in.)

A skull, or a mask, appears in the middle of a bottle. A monumental, hybrid creature, Bottle II makes a striking impression with its sturdy form. But once we move past this initial response, and establish a dialogue with the sculpture, we can perceive its fragility, even its ridiculousness. Unfinished, with visible stitching, its traces of modelling and assembly appear like faults.

Representative of the energetic work of Thomas Houseago, Bottle II exudes the joy of the material and the troubled conscience of the modern man. Oscillating between two-dimensionality and three-dimensionality, abstract and figurative, monumentality and fragility, the work appears like a helpless, indecisive monster. “I want my sculptures to make you reflect upon the human body, the armoured body, the viral body, the disappearing body, the damaged body,” he explains.

Bottle II was first shown by the Pinault Collection in 2011 at the "Eloge du Doute" (“In Praise of Doubt”) exhibition at the Punta della Dogana.