A truly visionary painter, Fred Cuming has developed the most delicate, painstaking descriptive techniques.
He belongs to the great descriptive tradition of English Romantic landscape painting which has flourished for two centuries since Turner and Constable.
Yet what Cuming really does, is to re-invent the world through colour. It is both a recognisable place, which can be visited; and yet a completely transformed object of poetic intensity.
His world feels as if it has been dreamt, or remembered from a dream, suffused with feelings that can never quite be named.
Richard Holmes (OBE, FRSL, FBA)
Author of ‘The Age of Wonder’
- Frederick Cuming (1930-2022)
- Royal Academician
- Nationality: British
- Elected ARA: 25 April 1969
- Elected RA: 12 February 1974
- Elected Senior RA: 1 October 2005
- Born: 16th February 1930 in London, England
- Died: 12th June 2022 in Iden, East Sussex
Portrait of an Artist (Fred Cuming). Commissioned by the RA (2015)
Art to me is a form of abstraction.
It’s the artist’s job to convey the message, meaning and emotion which is the essence of abstraction – what you have experienced as a person and how you interpret it into your work.
What is an artist for?
Surely not just to record what he sees, but to interpret what he sees.
We are all searching.
I watch a plane take off from Gatwick Airport fifty miles away.
The sun, now beneath the horizon, illuminates the vapour trail in pure gold until suddenly the trail turns a pale mauve as the curvature of the earth cuts out the sunlight. Once more I become aware of this sphere we live on spinning away from the light.
From my studio shed I see everything transformed by the angle of the light in autumn evenings, a magical half-hour of brilliant gold light against shadows and darker areas.
The jam-jar on my window-sill holding dead flowers, thistles and teasels is transmuted into gold, a treasure from the tomb of Tutankhamun.
And then as the light fades different shades appear, gold turning to beautiful mauves and browns, dramatic contrasts reduced to subtle harmonies, the explosive sound of a huge orchestra dwindling to a gentle sonata of greys, mauves and pinks.
Fred Cuming, RA
Another Figure in the Landscape (2016), Unicorn Publishing