news Alec Cumming New Painting

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Dates: 8 September – 21 October 2015

Private View: 7th September, 6-8pm

Venue: The Atkinson Gallery, Millfield School, Street, Somerset, BA16 0YD

Opening times: Mon – Sat, 9:30 am – 5pm

Entry: Free


There is something very pleasing about Alec Cummingʼs paintings, something beguiling that draws you in but is hard to pinpoint. Alecʼs paintings are always exuberant and full of a joie de virve that is exactly as it should be for a young man still in his twenties, who lives life to the full and paints with the same passion. Maybe it is this youthful energy that skips around the canvas and makes the viewer feel alive
and wanting to engage for that bit longer.

The move to Delhi saw Alecʼs palette explode and he experimented with every shade of pink, terracotta and the spectrum of colour that was assaulting his visual reference points every day. The mass, movement, huge crowds, dogs, things that were vivid and moved; busses, tut-tuts, cows and people rushed across his visual networks and remained etched in his memory to be spewed onto the canvas at a later date. Is it any wonder that his painting when he was living in the centre of Delhi became a frenetic representation of this chaos.

Unlike most travellers who are unable to unravel India, Alec did just that and although his paintings were full and bursting with life and a riot of colour they were impressively composed and controlled whilst retaining energy and playfulness. As the viewer we had to work harder as the reference points Alec offered us were varied to the point of excess and we had to make sense of the suggestions of people and living things that he nodded to but did not made exact.

One thing that has become apparent over the years of working with Alec is that nothing spurs him on to push his practice and see just how far he can go than the prospect of a new exhibition. Alecʼs forthcoming solo show at the Atkinson Gallery in Somerset appears to have prompted a new enquiry into medium and size. Oil paintings on paper the size of his largest canvas now adorn the walls of his studio along with the beginnings of a series of over-large oils on canvas that are at the start of their journey. But it would appear that this journey is unlike the last although it harks back to previous sojourns. After the roller coaster ride of the past few years, having been back in Norwich for over a year it is possible that Alec has for the first time in a long time been able to sit back and take stock. Perhaps it is the everyday encounter with some of his earlier works that sit in his Norwich studio that have prompted him to revisit forms, shapes and space from his earlier family of images or that he simply could not fit anymore on the canvas. Whatever the reason the result is impressive and the results can only be described as a maturity of understanding, particularly of how the space in his paintings can work more delightfully with the energy that is still evident in his still teasing and now even more alien-like forms.

Laura Williams, July 2015

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Born in the UK, Alec Cumming is a painter of international recognition, who works between studios in the UK and India. In 2007 he graduated from Norwich University Of The Arts in, where he served as student union president for two years, and in that time was part of founding STEW: artist-led spaces, studios and galleries in Norwich. Since 2009 the artist has been represented by Art 1821 and has exhibited at the British Council, New Delhi and major London galleries in Mayfair.

He has had a number of major solo shows in the UK and has exhibited at every edition of the India Art Fair since 2009. Alec is the youngest artist to have a solo exhibition with the British Council at the Queens Gallery in New Delhi. At the India Art Fair 2015 he was selected as ‘the one to watch’ by the art critics alongside G R Iranna and Francesco Clemente.

The artist has work held in private and corporate collections in, Australia, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, India, Israel, United Kingdom and the United States.


ALEC CUMMING WEBSITE
LAURA WILLIAMS WEBSITE

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