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The Eye - Gary Hume

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The Eye - Gary Hume

Gary Hume RA (born 1962) is an English artist. His work is strongly identified with the Young British Artists group who came to prominence in the 1990s. Hume became a Royal Academician in 2001.

Gary Hume was born in 1962 in Tenterden, Kent. He attended Homewood School. He graduated from Goldsmiths College in 1988. His work was included in both Freeze, an exhibition organized by Damien Hirst in 1988, and East Country Yard, a warehouse exhibition organized by Henry Bond and Sarah Lucas in 1990.

Hume's earliest notable works are his "door paintings", life-size representations of hospital doors. These proved a critical success, being shown in Germany and the United States, as well as attracting the attention of collector Charles Saatchi. Hume's work was included in the 1997 Sensation exhibition, a controversial touring show of Saatchi's collection which visited London, Berlin and New York.

Hume abandoned doors in the mid-1990s, turning to paintings in gloss paint on aluminum. These often appropriate images from the media, including pictures of celebrities (e.g. DJ Tony Blackburn) and animals. Their forms and colours are dramatically simplified, with people being reduced to just two or three colours. Snowman (1996), for example, is made up of three shades of red, showing a circle on top of a larger circle against a lighter background. At first, Hume used mainly bright colours, but later pieces have used more muted tones. He represented Britain at the 1999 Venice Biennale, where he showed his Water series, a number of superimposed line drawings of women (again, these were gloss paint on aluminium).

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