|Title||Stuart Cumberland: Congratulations|
A solo exhibition consisting of seven large paintings that use aspects of the language of abstract painting to
humorously represent bottles of champagne alongside divided cartoon human body parts. Cumberland’s paintings place considerable importance on the rapidity and pleasure of their making with notable comparisons to
many important 20th century artists. The speed is partly connected to motifs of racing and competition alongside aspects of
desire and glamour such as winning, envy, champagne celebrations and sexual promise. The importance of this exhibition lies
in the dialogue between each painting to create a whole. The titles of the works are: Congratulations, Champagne III, Pit Stop,
Blank Socks - Laid Down, Champa, Launch – Plimsol, White Socks.
This research project develops themes from earlier work. For Cumberland’s solo show at MacGarry gallery, London, in 2006,
and following the Camden exhibition (output 2), he decided to make the humour in his work more accessible by making the
imagery more readable and less abstract. Subjects explored in this series include repetitions found in commerce alongside fast
expressive gesture in painting. Using champagne as their subject, the paintings in this show playfully explore the themes of
current art’s preferable air of production line sterility where painting - as a dead medium - is sought for its glamour and prestige
value. Alongside this Cumberland asks where the personal rewards for artistic endeavour lie: do they reside in material or
spiritual gain, or in champagne glamour and a champagne high?
The Approach represents artists of Turner Prize and museum repute, including Michael Raedecker and John Stezaker. The
Gallery director invited Cumberland to be represented by The Approach in 2007 and selected his show to coincide with Frieze
Art Fair and its potential international audience. Reviews include Art Forum and Modern Painters.