Forget Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst – where are their plants? Our favourite of the celebrated ‘Young British Artists’ that studied at London’s Goldsmiths College in the late 1980s is Gary Hume (born 1962). A painter who fairly recently (end of last year) had a retrospective with another of our favourite artists Patrick Caulfield at Tate Britain. Flowers have been a reoccurring motif in Hume’s work: Plant inspired pieces include Tulips (2009), Brown Roses (2004), Peonies (2004) and Grey leaves (2004). Below we show his eight linocuts for the series ‘Here’s Flowers’ that he produced in 2006. He worked on these with the late printmaker Hugh Stoneman and the Tate holds a copy of each although they are not on display sadly. In some the full flower head can be seen whereas others are a morphological detail abstraction. It is not just because he paints plants that we like him, although it helps, it’s that he combines just a few colours, with lines and perspective and manages to produce something pleasing, something more than its restricted parts. Lots of artists try to do the same thing, but are unable to gratify an audience the way he does. Let’s hope he has a plant only exhibition soon.
Untitled 1 – 8 in order below
Images The Tate