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Exhibition of new work by British artist Gary Hume on view at Sprüth Magers in Berlin
Gary Hume, Untitled, 2012. Charcoal on paper, UV Perspex and gloss paint, 91 x 110 cm (framed) / 35 7/8 x 43 1/4 inches (framed) © Gary Hume. Courtesy Sprüth Magers Berlin London.

BERLIN.- Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers present an exhibition of new work by Gary Hume. For the artist’s second solo show in Berlin, the gallery showcases an intimate series of never-seen-before works on paper, completed by the addition of gloss paint upon the glass of the frame. These multi-layered compositions will be shown alongside three recent paintings on aluminium.

A member of the celebrated group of ‘Young British Artists’ who emerged from London’s Goldsmiths College in the late 1980s, Hume has developed a distinctive visual language of bold, simplified forms and an innovative use of colour. Renowned for his large-scale paintings which use high gloss paint to create planes of industrial colour, Gary Hume’s principal thematic concerns are colour and light and formal ambiguity, while his subject matter ranges from friends, family and celebrities, to motifs drawn from nature and childhood. Recognisable images, sometimes sourced from magazines or snapshots and often of a personal, sentimental nature are schematized, abbreviated and silhouetted almost to the point of abstraction so that the original source material is rarely traceable within the final work.

2 brings together a selection of works on paper, produced between 2008 - 2010. The charcoal sketches were put aside until recently when the artist had the idea of adding to the existing works by painting the glass of their frames. The monochrome drawings are thus enlivened with colour and texture, imbuing certain details of the earlier compositions with increased significance. The works reveal a further experimentation with paint on different surfaces, as well as highlighting Hume’s interest in the issues of repetition and process in artistic production.

Also on show are three small-format works painted on aluminum. Hume’s signature bright colours are given extra luminosity through the use of gloss paint on the metal surface. In Red Column (2012) the impenetrable fields of red and beige colour evoke mid century abstraction while illustrating the artist’s intrigue in the fluid, highly reflective qualities of gloss paint. Hume adopts a darker, more somber palette in the portrait Untitled (2012). Here line is articulated as thin ridges of paint, which disrupt the surface of the expanse of colour, acting as walls or dams between different areas of paint, and tracing the outline of the facial features of a person.

Gary Hume’s retrospective exhibition Flashback, organised by the Arts Council is currently on tour in the UK, showing at Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds; Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton; Jerwood Gallery, Hastings and Aberdeen Art Gallery, Aberdeen. In 2013, Tate Britain will present a survey exhibition of the artist’s work (4 June – 8 September 2013).

Gary Hume lives and works between London and New York. He represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1999 and the Săo Paulo Bienial in 1996, the same year he was nominated for the Turner Prize. In 2001 he was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts, London. Recent solo exhibitions include ICA, London (1999), The National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh (1999), Fundaçăo La Caixa, Barcelona (2000), Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2003), Kunsthaus Bregenz (2004), the Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover (2004) and Modern Art Oxford, Oxford (2008). Group shows include Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2001), Kunsthalle Basel (2002), Louisiana Museum, Denmark (2004), Tate Britain, London (2004), Museum of Modern Art, New York (2006).

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