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Indepth Arts News:

"Gary Hume"
2003-04-04 until 2003-06-22
Irish Museum of Modern Art
Dublin, , IE

The first exhibition in Ireland by Gary Hume, one of the most sought-after and inventive painters working in Britain today, opened to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Thursday 3 April 2003. Entitled simply Gary Hume, the exhibition comprises some 30 works and presents a comprehensive overview of the main developments in Hume’s engaging but powerful oeuvre over the past ten years. In addition, to the paintings in the gallery spaces, a sculpture of a giant bronze snowman is being placed in IMMA’s 17th-century formal gardens.

Described by art critic Richard Cork as “one of the most adroit, inspiring and resourceful painters around”, Hume first came to public attention as a result of his participation in the seminal Freeze show in 1988, which featured artists such as Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin who, like Hume, were soon to acquire celebrity status as yBas (young British artists). His work at this time centred on minimal, high-gloss paintings based on anonymous, hospital swing doors. By 1993 these had given way to more fluid, lyrical style, which, while retaining the same surface quality and economic language, incorporated more figurative elements, including portraits from popular culture such as Patsy Kensit, Kate Moss and, more recently, Michael Jackson, all of which are included in the exhibition.

Hume’s new paintings, such as Three Shades of Grey, 2002, and Green Hat, 2002, are intriguing as they are generally more muted and darker in form and content than before - slightly melancholic and, sometimes, sinister. However, in contrast, Welcome, 2002, is particular cheerful, with echoes of the earlier door paintings, while Yellow Window, 2002 marks a return to Hume’s grid-like hospital doors and is perhaps a tongue in cheek homage to Duchamp’s Fresh Widow.

Born in Kent, England, in 1962, Gary Hume graduated from Goldsmiths College in 1988, one of a generation of artists who have become internationally known as yBas (young British artists). He has exhibited extensively internationally. In 1996 he was the British representative at the São Paulo Biennal and in the same year was nominated for the Turner Prize. In 1999 he represented Britain with a large solo show at the XLVIII Venice Biennale. He has also had solo exhibitions at the Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastrict, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, the Whitechapel Gallery, London, and Fundació “la Caixa”, Barcelona.

On Friday 11 April Rachael Thomas, Curator: Exhibitions at IMMA, will give a guided introductory tour of the exhibition.

Gary Hume,
Young Mother and Child, 2001,
Gloss paint on aluminium,
153 x 122 cm,
Courtesy White Cube, London

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