‘Moun Room’ offers immersive gallery experience

Thomas Houseago’s new installation “Moun Room” could be looked at as the coolest play fort ever. For a young child, or anyone who loves a good fort, “Moun Room” is fun to explore. There are multiple points of exit and entry into the installation at Hauser & Wirth, though most are unusable because the piece is too fragile. The farther in visitors go, the more contained and peaceful it feels.

In the past, Houseago has made sculptures of the human body, marking “Moun Room” as a departure from his usual style. About two years in the making, “Moun Room” is now a reality for Houseago. The spheres and crescents placed in various parts of the piece highlight the moon imagery. It is very gratifying to wander through the sculpture, and each time one walks through it, some undiscovered detail reveals itself. From the outside, the walls look rough and unfinished, but the inside walls at the core of the piece have smooth carvings.

When first walking into the room where Houseago’s new sculpture is displayed, “Moun Room” seems distant and overbearing, similar to the moon itself. The structure is made of three chambers and, by going through each chamber, the piece seems to grow but still retains an intimate atmosphere. The innermost chamber feels as if it has a gravitational pull to it.

While the piece may come off as fairly bland-looking, the experience of walking through it is intriguing. Installation art often allows onlookers to immerse themselves in the work. For fans of Houseago, this is a piece definitely worth seeing.  Even for those unfamiliar with his work, “Moun Room” is immersive, both physically and figuratively.

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“Moun Room” in on view at Hauser & Wirth, 511 W. 18th St., through Jan. 17.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Nov. 18th print edition. Email Mary Ann at [email protected]

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