Thursday, June 08, 2006

gary hume at the white cube

I hardly ever make it to art shows, but I have been getting quietly excited at the prospect of the new Gary Hume show at the White Cube. Disappointing, then, to see it raising a sigh - if a rather beautiful sigh - rather than a gasp in Jonathan Jones's Guardian review. Yet reading it also makes me feel rather pleased that my gallery attendence has been so poor over the years; I've never identified Hume that strongly with the yba thing, or at least not so much to care about it, and I've always liked his stuff more than his contemporaries because I find it thrilling beautiful, even if it's all gloss paint and surface. Jones writes:

"Whatever emotions are teased into play didn't nourish me beyond the walk back to the tube. As with many of his paintings, the feeling doesn't quite gel. It stays in a shallow part of you and is blown away with the dust of the street. Which, you might say, is how art ought to be. But then why does it need to be so expensive, difficult to make and ostentatious? Hume confuses me. Sometimes he seems to have a direct connection with a place in the collective unconscious where giant flowers bloom. At his best, he beautifully evokes London at a particular moment. Trouble is, that moment was a decade ago."

Perhaps if I had spent my teens in Hoxton rather than Camden I'd feel the same way - as it is, unless his new work is an enormous departure, I still find myself thrilled. And Jones's description is a good one for Hume - the artist of giant flowers.

Suddenly I'm reminded of a moment on (hesitates and then says quietly) Big Brother the other night which would have been unspeakably mawkish in the hands of anyone else, but Pete, who I rather like, said that when he feels free and happy he feels exactly like a bird, and when you feel like a bird you need other birds to fly with you. But the people here, he remarked, are all cats. I know. But I am cheered for a moment by a glimpse into a mind where giant flowers bloom; I bet Pete would like Gary Hume's paintings. Then my cynical self re-enters and the flower-bearers are sent squawking from the room.

The Hume exhibition runs at the White Cube until July 1st, and my bet is on it being a good show.

1 comment:

Nat said...

I like Pete too. He's a true person. He's lovely,c ute and positive.
Disappointed that he got cosy with Nikki though!
Liking the art- shame it's in London.
Is it the same guy who did your Myspace background? Looks similar.