Gary Hume, Michael, 2001, Courtesy White Cube, London
The first exhibition in Ireland by Gary Hume, one of the most sought-after and inventive painters working in Britain today, comprises some 30 works and presents a comprehensive overview of the main developments in his engaging but powerful oeuvre over the past ten years. Hume’s work is characterised by a distinctive visual vocabulary, combining a bright, colourful palette with simplified, childlike forms. He first came to prominence with his series of Door paintings, a body of work referencing both hospital swing-doors and post-war minimalist abstract paintings. From 1993 he began to engage with a much wider range of subjects including pop icons Michael Jackson and Kate Moss, images from childhood, such as polar bears, puppy dogs and snowmen and quasi-religious subjects seen in such works as The Cleric and Madonna. Hume’s most recent paintings are darker and more sinister in form and content. In addition, to the paintings in the gallery spaces, two of Hume’s sculptures of bronze snowmen have been placed in the grounds at IMMA: one in the courtyard, the other overlooking the formal gardens.
Hume first came to public attention 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). He has since exhibited internationally and in 1996 was the British representative at the São Paulo Biennale and a Turner Prize nominee. In 1999 he represented Britain with a large solo show at the XLVII Venice Biennale.
A publication with an essay by Jonathan Jones, who is an art critic and also writes for The Guardian, accompanies the exhibition (price €15.00).
The exhibition is presented in association with T H E I R I S H T I M E S.