Trebuchet, August 20, 2020

JD Malat Gallery announces Presence in Absence, a solo exhibition by Irish artist Ian Cumberland. The artist, best known for his hyperrealist portraits of isolated subjects in detailed interiors, explores themes of mass media culture, surveillance and the notion of the human self.


The exhibition consists of installations that utilise portraits as part of a multi-part tableau, establishing a dialogue between objects. Cumberland's works involve an assemblage of theatrical objects, adding abnormal touches and unsettling atmospheres within mundane interiors, giving rise to an acute degree of and different manifestations of realism. The subjects are caught in moments of escape from their psychological containment, similar to that experienced by people during the pandemic. By presenting a wholly unique experience of the effects of mass media, culture, and control on humanity's notion of self, Presence in Absence is, in effect, a social commentary on a sociological crisis.
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