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Gary Hume traces the multiple overlapping outlines of female nudes from photographs and magazines. Hume’s work, once referred to as ‘the flower on the dunghill of British art’, is an example of the decorative aesthetic in contemporary painting.

Yet there is also an ambiguity between the sugary-sweet banality and a troubling emptiness. The fragments of faces, shoulders, breasts, arms and hands do not seem to belong to any particular body. This gives the painting an uncanny air which conflicts with it saccharine appearance.

September 2004