New Art Centre is focusing on Gary Hume’s sculpture for this exhibition of Carvings in the Gallery. Surprisingly, this is the first exhibition to concentrate solely on Hume’s sculpture.
Gary Hume is well known for his paintings on aluminium panels, which often feature striking colour combinations made using household paint. His sculpture is perhaps less familiar, though in fact he has continued to make three-dimensional objects throughout his career and it has often had a strong punctuating presence in his exhibitions of ‘painting’. In 2010, at the time of his last show at the New Art Centre, he joked that he tried his hand at sculpture in the very early days but: “They kept falling over. That was my main trouble: gravity.” (The Independent) In fact, Hume’s sculpture – such as ‘Beauty Spot’, which was shown in the park at Roche Court in 2008 – are amongst some of his most compelling images and any such practical problems were overcome a long time ago.
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Hume’s Carvings in this exhibition are of legs and arms, sensual and sleek they protrude at jaunty angles. Anatomised from the rest of the human body, they hover somewhere between abstraction and figuration, like the corporeal fragments of Classical statuary. Hume plays with the conventions of monumental marble sculpture, treating it with a mischievous sense of form and scale and indeed colour. The Carvings also hover somewhere between sculpture and painting, since Hume also paints aspects of them in the bright colours we normally associate with his two-dimensional work.
Gary Hume lives and works between London and Upstate New York. He represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1999 and the São Paulo Biennial in 1996, the same year he was nominated for the Turner Prize. In 2001 he was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts, London. This year Hume will have solo exhibitions at the Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn and Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Finland. Other solo exhibitions include Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2014); Tate Britain, London (2013); Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev (2012); Modern Art Oxford (2008); Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover (2004); Kunsthaus Bregenz (2004); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2003); ICA, London (1999) and the Fundação La Caixa, Barcelona (2000). Recent group shows include Grand Palais, Paris (2019); National Portrait Gallery, London (2018); Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (2017); Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo (2016); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2006) and Tate Britain, London (2004).all images © the gallery and the artist(s)