Shortly after the close of the Venice Biennale in November 1999, the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, opened a highly successful exhibition of paintings by Gary Hume, notable for the inclusion of a significant body of work completed over the intervening summer.

The exhibition which subsequently toured to Portugal and Spain, contained a core of work originally shown at the British Pavilion in Venice, but also included a group of works from the new series of Close Ups and Angel Faces. In addition to these, a number of the Tarpaulins, first shown in the East Country Yard exhibition of 1990, were included providing an opportunity to explore the continuity of Hume’s visual concerns over the course of the last decade.

In Barcelona, the exhibition was presented in the Palau Macaya, a sparkling example of the late 19th century Catalan ‘modernismo’. The galleries were wholly transformed by La Caixa, repeating the strategy of suspending paintings from the ceiling, first employed by Hume at the Whitechapel. Visitors were led through a series of small galleries containing groups of portraits and Nest paintings, into one large, uninflected space.

The Spanish press reacted with great interest in the exhibition, with full page articles appearing in all the major broadsheet newspapers on the day of the opening. To mark the occasion of the first solo exhibition of the artist in the country, La Fundacio La Caixa published a large, fully illustrated trilingual catalogue containing essays by Adrian Searle and Keith Hartley, together with a new text by the leading Spanish critic Enrique Juncosa.