A Common Fiction / Once removed
12.01.19 – 16.02.19
Josef Filipp Gallery is delighted to present Irish artist Ian Cumberland’s first solo exhibition in Germany, opening on 12th January 2019 as part of the Spinnerei Winter Gallery Tour. It brings together his latest body of work ‘a common fiction’, which is touring from the Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast Northern Ireland, alongside a number of pieces from his previous exhibition ‘once removed’. The British Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland have kindly supported this through the Artists International Development Fund.
Born in Banbridge Northern Ireland in 1983, Ian Cumberland studied at the University of Ulster (2002-6) and has gained a national and international reputation for his award winning highly realistic portraits, which seem at once descriptive and full of foreboding in their gloomy quality.
Cumberland’s recent body of work investigates ideas surrounding the spectacle, the uncanny, the gaze, and the other. The works contemplate on the alienation of the individual through the commodification of society and influence of technology, creating a disparity between appearance and reality. Cumberland begins by constructing sets, staging props and posing models, which are then heightened by theatrical lighting and photographed. He is staging ‘the spectacle’ or the illusion of normality. These are then painted, the paintings are treated as objects staged within the gallery in a wider installation alongside audio works. Elements framed within the paintings extend out into the space with fabric, paint, neon, sculpture and video work. Cumberland is, one could say, deconstructing the process of production whilst expanding paintings mode of presentation.
Ian Cumberland has been included in many prestigious exhibitions internationally. He won the Davy Portrait award in 2010, while in 2011 was placed third in the BP Portrait Award. He has been awarded the ACES Award, Arts Council of Northern Ireland 2014, The Ireland-US Council & Irish Arts Review Portraiture Award 2012, SIAP Award, Arts Council of Northern Ireland 2011, 2010, 2009 and the KPMG Emerging Artist Award 2010, 2009.
Cumberland’s work is represented in public collections throughout Ireland and the UK such as the NICS Government Art Collection, National Self Portrait Collection of Ireland, OPW State Art Collection, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Hall, Queens University and University of Ulster.