The Approach is proud to present Congratulations, an exhibition of new work by the British painter Stuart Cumberland.
A group of figurative and abstract canvases will be shown relating to an ongoing theme of the painter as a light-hearted egotist striving to be rewarded for his artistic endeavour. The paintings here primarily deal with desire and self-gratification, painted with one eye on the canvas and one on the competition. The predominant motif within the paintings that make up ‘Congratulations’ is a champagne bottle – a symbol of celebration, glamour and reward.
Bottles and body parts are rendered with speed and a cartoon-like quality but the scale of the works and their conviction gives them a sincerity that suggests a steady serious practice. The repetitive motif is exaggerated in these new paintings by the use of stencils to draw an outline of the bottles, which are brashly filled in with colour, bringing to mind a child’s colouring-in book. These paintings have an immediacy of execution, which is defiantly frontal and flat but continue to dig deeper, reflecting the artist’s dilemma to produce a serious painting without taking things too seriously.
Recent solo shows include: ‘Stuart Cumberland’, Kate MacGarry, London 2006 and 2003
Recent group shows include: ‘The Wonderful Fund- Collecting Art for the New Millennium’, Pallant House Gallery, West Sussex (2006-7); ‘The Way We Work Now: Some Attitudes to Materials and Making’, Camden Arts Centre, London (2006); ‘Works on Paper’, Sprüth Magers Projekte, Münich (2004); ‘Dirty Pictures’, The Approach, London (2003); ‘Painter’s Painting’, The Approach, London (2001)
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