Notes on – Garry Hume – Hospital doors

Hume’s work began with scale door paintings that were exhibited at the YBA Freeze exhibition in London.


Gary Hume’s ‘Girl Boy, Boy Girl’ (1990 – 91)

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“There were these depressed people in a depressed NHS hospital, and in the background was this modernist door – clear, perfectly designed, functional, democratic. I saw it and thought, bloody hell, there it is – I can paint that. It’s perfect.”

The door paintings in them selves serve as a stark monument to what going on behind them and around them physically, mentally and philosophically . The beginning or end which is indicated to in some of the titles. These consist of ‘Incubus’, ‘Girl Boy, Boy Girl’, and ‘Love Loves Unlovable’.

Something I suggested when viewing and reflecting on Hume’s work in Tate Britain is the suggestion that Hume’s work is a form of visual language that needs to be used to provoke and discuss those ‘things’ that cannot be fully understood, if they are discussed using the restrictive traditional languages.


The paint application is very interesting in these works it is very clearly done by hand lumps and runs of paint indicate this. This I find interesting because for me there is further suggestion that this work is using details much like dialect to discuss specific features about what is being spoken about.


Posted in Contextualisation YEAR 3, Subject YEAR 3