Bird in a Fish Tank. For Gary Hume's first solo show in Berlin for over 15 years, he presents a selection of new work including Berlin Bird, a major large-scale six-panel painting, a group of six paintings, four sculptures and, for the first time, five works on paper. The six paintings form a series of large-format works painted with Hume's trademark seductive bright colours, given extra luminosity through the use of gloss paint on aluminum.
For Gary Hume’s first solo show in Berlin for over 15 years, he presents a selection of new work
including Berlin Bird, a major large-scale six-panel painting, a group of six paintings, four
sculptures and, for the first time, five works on paper.
The six paintings form a series of large-format works painted with Hume’s trademark seductive bright colours, given extra luminosity through the use of gloss paint on aluminum. The images are stripped to their essential shapes imbuing any details with increased significance. This allows the works such as The Bridge, 2009, to be read both as representation, as well as abstract interlinking shapes.
The source images are taken from cheerleader magazines, with the unusual viewpoints and angles capturing the movement of the bodies, and closely-cropped images providing a visual challenge to the eye. The contrast of the pastel colours and flesh tones with the cropped images of dissected bodies conveys a sense of dislocation and the disquiet at the heart of representations of American beauty.
These new paintings relate to the earlier American Tan series, which was described as follows in a press release: “Hume finds ambivalence in this most iconic of American art forms: simultaneous desire and repulsion, overt sexuality colliding with playful innocence, power and pride wrapped up in exuberant kitsch’.
The new drawings are less closely cropped than the paintings and present instantly recognizable images of women in strong poses. Works like Untitled, 2009, present a body and face in strong outline on a neutral background that contrasts and highlights the fiery orange colour of the figure’s hair.
The beautifully shaped and tactile sculptures are conceived from mannequin parts, the human body in ideal universal form. Hume fuses the powerful limbs into static shapes latent with movement, and the vulnerability that their prone position conveys. Hume makes a model of the sculpture that is then carved by hand and laboriously finished with sandpaper. One or more surface is covered in bright gloss paint, creating a strong contrast between materials, and the work is mounted on a steel base and installed on a plinth.
Gary Hume was born in Kent in 1962 and lives and works in London and upstate New York, USA. Hume represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1999.
Solo shows include São Paulo Biennial (1996), Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (1999), the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh (1999), Fundação La Caixa, Barcelona (2000), Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2003), Kunsthaus Bregenz (2004) and the Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover (2004). Group shows include Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2001), Kunsthalle Basel (2002), Louisiana Museum, Denmark (2004), and Tate Britain, London (2004).
For more information, interviews or images please contact:
Jan Salewski, Sprüth Magers Berlin: T: +49 302 888 4030 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Private view: 1 July 2010, 6-9 pm
Opening 2 July 2010
Monika Spruth Philomene Magers
Oranienburger Straße 18, Berlin
Opening hours Tuesday - Saturday, 11am - 6pm