Stuart Cumberland Melissa Marks

A highly respected painter, born in 1970, Stuart Cumberland has, more consistently and for longer than practically any one else in the UK, maintained a flirtation with the visual power of Modernist painting. Cumberland enjoys the possibilities opened up by an almost endless expressive recombination of artistic styles and statements. His paintings are a satisfying mix of knowing, disciplined gestural abstraction and a riot of referential ambiguities.

Cumberland paints in series with the intent to humorously communicate specific themes, for the most part relating to Sigmund Freud’s idea of ‘sublimation’ – the channeling of ‘lower’ sexual urges into ‘higher’ aims such as art or science. Responding to the opportunity to develop his practice through his commission for COMMA, Cumberland proposes to exhibit a new series of six oil paintings that have an ambitious change in size, paint application and use of colour.

Cumberland is the first specific painter to be asked to make a series of independent works for COMMA at Bloomberg SPACE. He will show alongside New York based artist Melissa Marks who will draw and paint directly on to the wall.
Melissa Marks’ works take the form of drawings, paintings, large-scale wall-drawing installations and animations. Often executed on a grand scale her work reveals her fascination for epic narratives, comic book illustration and the performative quality of painting and drawing. Since 1993, she has continuously developed a body of work based on a central character named ‘Volitia’ (as in volition). Part Superman, part Eve – Volita is a narrative force that has been driving Marks’ oeuvre.
For her new commission at Bloomberg SPACE, Marks will take over the rear gallery, investigating the spatial quality of the balcony area to present the latest installment in her adventure cycle – Adventures of Volitia: Expulsion from Paradise. Exploiting a unique opportunity for her circular, abstract storytelling, Marks combines eleven large, full-colour framed drawings with extensive double-height, black and white wall drawing to form a frieze around the atrium. In a representation of “The Fall” the lines of the drawing will run along the walls, ascending and descending, floating and crashing, mimicking the speed and movement of rushing water.

Duration 10 September 2009 - 26 September 2009
Times Monday to Saturday 11am – 6pm
Cost free
Venue Bloomberg Space
Address 50 Finsbury Square London EC2A 1HD, ,
Contact 0207 330 7959 / /

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