london

Gary Hume

White Cube | Mason's Yard

“American Tan,” the title of this large exhibition of paintings, drawings, and sculptures, suggests that sickly orange-caramel hue of cheap hosiery that gives a woman’s skin a sort of nylon veneer. Such off colors—with nauseating names like “warm salmon” or “minty cream”—are the decorator shades that Hume favors for his large, flat paintings with details drawn in relief. In general, the artist chooses undemanding subject matter: baby birds, flowers, celebrities. Here it’s American cheerleaders, fragmented and abstracted into random legs, arms, crotches, midriffs. They can be turned upside down or sideways, like the fluid limbs of American Tan VII (Gloss), 2006–2007, or read straightforwardly, as with American Tan XXII (Gloss), 2006–2007, in which a pretty girl reaches upward, stretching her cropped sweater to teasing heights. There are few heads or hands, as if the latter had

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