After Gary Hume graduated from Goldsmith’s College, London in 1988, he received critical acclaim for his hard-edged, abstract “Door” paintings. Since then he has developed a highly personal language in paintings made with ordinary, household gloss paint, and strikingly elemental sculptures, favouring forms which appear familiar but remain resolutely abstract and hard to decipher.
By Dimitris Lempesis
Photo: Matthew Marks Gallery Archive
In addition to Hume’s signature aluminum panels, he recently began painting on large sheets of paper. His preferred paint, a highly reflective household gloss, creates textures and reflections on the paper that become an integral part of the work. Gary Hume’s solo exhibition “Mum” features 13 recent paintings, each on aluminum or paper. This body of work focuses on a range of subjects, but at its core is a suite of highly personal paintings about memory and loss. Hume’s mother is 86 years old and suffers from dementia. And while the ostensible subjects of many of the new paintings are flowers, their titles like: “Mourning”, “Spent” or “Blind”, reflect Hume’s thoughts of her. “Mum on the Couch” (2017), a more direct portrait, depicts the artist’s aging mother in her current condition, a poignant contrast to the vibrant woman of her son’s memories. Gary Hume came to international acclaim as one of the Young British Artists who studied at Goldsmith’s College in the heady period of the late ‘80s. His works are elegantly decorative without feeling consumerist and his color schemes make an urbane and dramatic impact. Throughout his career Hume’s compositions have been inspired by photographs and the visual data of our contemporary world, including politicians, pop culture figures, and lately what he describes as “flora, fauna and portraiture.”
Info: Matthew Marks Gallery, 522 West 22nd Street, New York, Duration: 4/11-22/12/17, Days & Hours: Tue-Sat 10:00-18:00, www.matthewmarks.com