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Gary Hume, b.1962

Back of Snowman2003

Throughout his practice Hume has explored iconic images and shapes such as his series of paintings based on hospital doors, pop stars and supermodels. In ‘Back of Snowman’ Hume engages with perhaps one of the most familiar, accessible and recognizable sculptures, stirring the imagination and conjuring memories associated with youth, childhood and playfulness. Hume’s chosen medium for this traditionally temporary shape is bronze, its connotations of permanence and stability contrasting with the ephemeral nature of snow. Made first in clay and then cast in bronze, the surface of the metal has been polished rather than painted, as was the case with other snowmen in this series. An engagement with icons which have art-historical associations is also evident in Hume’s practice. ‘Back of Snowman’ recalls how Michaelangelo was commissioned to make only one sculpture during the reign of Piero de’ Medici, who on a childish whim after a heavy snowfall in January 1494, ordered a showman from the sculptor.

MediumBronze and crayon
Dimensions153 x 107 x 53 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Purchase, 2005
Item NumberIMMA.1829
On view IMMA Grounds, 25/09/2013 - 31/12/2020
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Image Caption
Gary Hume, Back of Snowman, 2003, Bronze and crayon, 153 x 107 x 53 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, 2005

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: info@imma.ie.

About the Artist

Gary Hume b.1962

British artist Gary Hume graduated from Goldsmith's College, London. He was one of a generation of artists who became known internationally as the Young British Artists (YBA's). Hume’s work is characterised by a visual vocabulary that combines bright colours with simplified, childlike forms. He represented Britain at the São Paulo Biennial in 1996 and was nominated for the Turner Prize the same year. Hume has exhibited extensively in Britain and worldwide, including a large solo exhibition at IMMA in 2003. — View Artist »