Gary Hume: Door Paintings
Modern Art Oxford
15 June – 31 August
Twenty years after Gary Hume emerged onto the British art scene with his
large-scale paintings based on institutional doors, Modern Art Oxford
presents the first-ever survey of this rich body of work.
Hume showed his earliest Door Paintings in the now legendary Freeze
exhibition in 1988, organised by Damien Hirst with fellow Goldsmiths
students, which heralded a new generation of British artists.
Hume’s seemingly abstract compositions, rendered in high-gloss,
commercial house paint, were inspired by the institutional, swing doors
of St. Bartholomew’s hospital in London’s East End. Praised for their
play on the language of modernist abstraction and the democracy of their
motif, the Door Paintings would form the basis of Hume’s artistic
Some fifty Door Paintings make up the series. The exhibition presents
eighteen of the most important works, from the mute elegance of the
early Magnolia Doors and the Dolphin Paintings of the late 80s and early
90s, to the stylized anthropomorphism and brilliant colour of the
aluminium panels of recent years.
Suzanne Cotter, Deputy Director of Modern Art Oxford and curator of the
“Gary Hume is one of the most significant painters of
his generation, unrivalled among his contemporaries in his conceptual
elegance, sensuousness and unashamed use of colour as form. This
exhibition of his Door Paintings offers the chance to rediscover these
radically irresistible works and to follow his artistic development over
the past two decades.”
Hume returned to the motif of the Doors in 1998 when commissioned by the
Hayward Gallery to make a new work for the outside of the building. In
the early 2000s, the Doors reappeared alongside his figurative paintings
of people, flora and fauna.
Gary Hume was born in Kent in 1962 and lives and works in London and
upstate New York. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1996 and
represented Britain in the British Pavilion, 48th Venice Biennial of
Art, Venice in 1999.
Solo exhibitions include Angels, Flowers and Icons, Hastings
Museum and Art Gallery, 2007; The Bird Has A Yellow Beak,
Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2004; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, 2003;
Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1999; Dean Gallery, National Galleries
of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1999; Turnaround. Inside Out at the
Hayward, Hayward Gallery, London, 1998; XXIII Bienal de Sao Paulo,
Brazil, 1996 and Kunsthalle, Bern, 1995.
Group exhibitions include Aftershock: Contemporary British Art
1990-2006, Capital Museum, Beijing, 2007 and Guangdong Museum of
Art, Guangzhou, 2006; Sensation, Royal Academy of Arts, London,
1997; Young British Artists, Saatchi Gallery, London, 1997;
General Release: Young British Artists at Scuola di San Pasquale,
46th Venice Biennial of Art, Venice, 1995; Brilliant! New Art
from London, Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis, 1995; Unbound:
Possibilities in Painting, Hayward Gallery, London, 1994; Broken
English, Serpentine Gallery, London, 1991 and Freeze: Part II,
Surrey Docks, London, 1988.
For further details please
visit www.modernartoxford.org.uk or call 01865 722733.