Monday 19 February 2018

New Tate exhibit starts at the door

Tate Britain employee Ellie Blanchette, 22, walks through How To Paint a Door 2013 by artist Gary Hume
Tate Britain employee Ellie Blanchette, 22, walks through How To Paint a Door 2013 by artist Gary Hume
A visitor looks at Back of a Snowman (White) 2000 by artist Gary Hume during the press view for Patrick Caulfield and Gary Hume at Tate Britain
A visitor looks a Red Barn Door 2008 by artist Gary Hume during the press view for Patrick Caulfield and Gary Hume at Tate Britain

Visitors to Tate Britain will find themselves having to touch a new work on display - the gallery doors.

Exhibitions on British artist Gary Hume and British painter Patrick Caulfield open on Wednesday. Hume has used gloss paint to cover the doors, which lead to the exhibition of his work, vivid pink.

The painter, who is known for his bold and colourful paintings and was one of the Young British Artists who came to prominence in the late 1980s, has called his new creation How To Paint A Door.

Hume's show charts 20 years while Caulfield's spans a 40-year career, ending just before he died in 2005. The artist, associated with the Pop Art movement, was known for his studies of interiors and still-life. One of his paintings, Braque Curtain, was finished just two weeks before he died aged 69, and has never been on display before. It has been purchased by the Tate.

Caulfield's works on show include Happy Hour (1996), which features a glimpse of the artist in the wine glass, Pottery (1969), Selected Grapes (1981), Cafe Interior: Afternoon (1973), and Bishops (2004).

Hume began painting life-size representations of NHS hospital doors early on in his career. "I didn't want them to have class references: grand versus council flat, or to show aspiration and design consciousness. So I chose the kind of doors that we all go through one time or another," he has said. He later moved away from doors and sourced imagery from newspapers, maps and magazines, "turning recognisable forms into abstract images".

Katharine Stout, who curated the Hume show, said How To Paint A Door (2013) was the first time that the artist had used a door that was functional. She said: "We were working on the selection of the show, which was quite resolved, when he suggested a way to reintroduce people to the world of Gary Hume."

She added: "He owns the work. It's a replacement door. When the exhibition finishes the old Tate door goes back. He wanted it to be vibrant and he does not mind people touching it. That's the point."

Tate Britain director Penelope Curtis said that the exhibitions were "separate but complementary", adding: "The work of both artists seems simple but the more you look, the more you realise it's quite complex. It opens your eyes to the complexity of simple painting. People might think of Hume as an artist who painted doors and Caulfield as a British Pop Artist but they were much more complex than that."

Both exhibitions run from June 5 to September 1 at Tate Britain and can be seen with one ticket.

Press Association

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