Gary Hume

Biography of Gary Hume

The English artist Gary Steward Hume (born 1962 in Tenterden, UK) is commonly associated with the YBAs as his style of work can be placed in the field of Abstract Formalism. His paintings are characterized by bold, colorful shapes on aluminium panel and high-gloss industrial paint, which reflects the light and gives them a very recognizable value, turning mundane subjects into something luscious and melancholically beautiful. Hume uses a variety of motives including nature scenes, portraits and animals, only to then simplify their shapes and colors to a dramatic extent.


A prominent example is his work Snowman (1996), consistent of two red circles on a slightly lighter background. Hume received first critical acclaim when his large-scale, lustrous works were shown in the Freeze exhibition (1988), organized by Hume's fellow student Damien Hirst. Hume also produces multiples, for instance his silkscreen print Vicious (2010, edition of 250), inspired by the Lou Reed song, that shows a Mussolini statue on a background of vibrant flowers. His linocut print Cap (2013, edition of 30) – hovering between abstract and figurative – depicts a swimming cap, a large black shape that has almost deluged all other color, leaving some bright pink, blue and yellow in the corners. About his work Hume adequately states: "I like to be alone and I like making still, quiet things… I like things to be simple."

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