We are delighted to be focusing on Gary Hume’s sculpture for this exhibition of Carvings in the Gallery. Surprisingly, this will be 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.
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.