Presence in Absence

If you’re yet to venture into the Capital’s art world post-lockdown this might just be the exhibition to entice you. This September, Mayfair art space JD Malat presents Presence in Absence, a solo show by the Irish artist Ian Cumberland – and we think it’s a particularly timely one.

Cumberland is known for his hyperrealist portraits of isolated subjects, poised, positioned, perhaps even imprisoned, in their detailed interiors, but beyond that, his photo-like paintings here form part of a larger series of installations, a multi-part tableau, if you will, that establishes a dialogue between the objects.

Writer and curator, David Campbell says of Cumberland’s work, “it is a peculiar, unsettling experience, as if the viewer has intruded into a ‘space’ and a ‘moment’ to which they are alien. Positioned as an outsider, [his] series of multi component tableaux seem to offer a viewing experience that falls somewhere between an invitation to eavesdrop and an unintended moment of voyeurism.”

Cumberland presents a unique experience, mixing unsettling atmospheres with mundane room sets; themes of mass media, culture, control, and our notion of the self… We’ve never been more grateful to come out of isolation and immerse ourselves in art. This year, it seems all the more vivid.

Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm, 7 September to 5 October, JD Malat Gallery, 30 Davies Street W1K  (