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Gary Hume


March 12 - April 30, 2005
523 W 24 Street
Opening Friday, March 11, 2005

Press Release

Matthew Marks is pleased to announce Gary Hume: Carnival, the next exhibition at his galleries at 523 West 24th Street and 521 West 21st Street. This will be the first major exhibition of the artist's work in New York in five years.

Organized by the Kestnergesellschaft, the contemporary art institute in Hannover, Germany, this exhibition includes paintings, drawings, and sculptures, all made over the past two years.

In this new work, Hume continues to employ his unusual palette, making awkward color combinations that, in his hands, are always beautiful: muddy greens and browns with pale lavenders, pinks, oranges, and yellows.

Executed in his signature high-gloss enamel paint on aluminum, several of Hume's new paintings are characterized by a dramatic use of negative space of the unpainted aluminum, allowing its muted surface to play off the shiny reflections of the enamel paint. He also continues to interrogate figurative abstraction and the relationship between pigment and ground in new and innovative ways. For the first time, Hume has brought together his interest in portraiture, plant forms, and geometric abstraction into a single body of work, giving the pictures a tremendous formal range, including both some of the most beautiful flower paintings and some of the most reduced, abstract pictures of his career.

Following a trip to the Arctic Circle last year, Hume painted Hermaphrodite Polar Bear, a new take on his earlier painting The Polar Bear from 1994. This work depicts what appears to be the four paws and belly of a bear with ambiguous genitalia, inspired by the effects of pollution on the polar bear population. In another rereading of his earlier work, Hume revisits his Door pictures, this time anthropomorphizing the doors, arranging them into pairs of lovers and giving them the titles The Couple and The Argument.

The artist will also be exhibiting a number of black-on-black charcoal and chalk line drawings, pushing both his abstraction and figuration into new territory.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue including essays by Michael Wilson and Ann Prenzler.

Gary Hume (b. 1962) lives and works in London and Accord, New York. This will be his seventh one-person exhibition at Matthew Marks Gallery since 1992. Hume represented Britain at the São Paulo Biennale in 1996 and the Venice Biennale in 1999. Most recently, the artist's work has been the subject of major exhibitions at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin in 2003 and at the Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria in 2004.

Gary Hume: Carnival will be on view at the Matthew Marks Galleries, 523 West 24th Street and 521 West 21st Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues) through April 30, 2005.
24th Street Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, from 11:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M..
21st Street Hours: Thursday and Friday, 1:00 to 6:00 PM, and Saturday, 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

For further information or reproductions please contact Sabrina Buell at 212-243-0200.

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Gary Hume
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