Study for Owl II


Tuf-cal, hemp, iron rebar.

88.9 x 81.3 x 83.8 cm (35 x 32 x 33 in.)

As goats and bulls did for Picasso, Thomas Houseago’s spirit animal, the owl, gave its name to the British sculptor’s studio: Owl Studios. Fixing us with its unfathomable and clairvoyant gaze, the nocturnal predator imposes a bold, troubling and “almost human” presence on this work, which bears the title of the exhibition dedicated to the artist at the Paris Musée d’Art Moderne in 2019.

Thomas Houseago sculpted his first owl at his daughter’s request. Present in large numbers in the Los Angeles region, where the artist lives and works, the bird gave rise to an important series of works. In Study for Owl II, we can see the features of Houseago’s sculptural approach: clear models, traces of tools, a subtle blend of power and fragility. 

Study for Owl 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.