Four Doors I


Gary Hume ( English, 1962 )

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General Description

Gary Hume is known for his colorful abstractions that draw from visual media and advertisements. A member of the Young British Artists generation, his work departs from both Pop Art predecessors such as Richard Hamilton and early-twentieth-century movements in abstraction such as Russian Suprematism.

Hume started his Doors series in the early 1990s. Schematic in their presentation, they recall institutional doors such as those found in hospitals, cafeterias, and morgues. Utilizing an architectural scale, the paintings intentionally mirror the human body, compelling reflection on spatial relationships. With regard to the subject matter, Hume has said, “It seems entirely appropriate to our time that the painting-as-window should have become a painting-as-door, and that the door should be closed . . . It is an image of closure and impenetrability which still manages to allude to the idea of something beyond—withheld, unseen, absent.” Rejecting the notion of painting as the illusionistic “picture window” pioneered in the Renaissance, Hume presents something literal yet rich with associations.

Excerpt from

Anna Katherine Brodbeck, ed., TWO X TWO X TWENTY: Two Decades Supporting Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art), 2018, 276-277.

Web Resources

  • Tate
    Learn more about the group of artists known as the Young British Artists.