Fred Cuming is a Senior Royal Academician and, when elected RA in 1974, was the youngest member to be elected to the Royal Academy of Arts. His artistic career has spanned over sixty years so far, and he has created (and sold) a body of work of some 5,000 paintings. Particularly fascinated by the observation and depiction of light and atmosphere, Fred Cuming is now one of England's foremost and best-loved contemporary Landscape painters.
Fred Cuming was born in 1930 in London and trained at the Sidcup School of Art between 1945-1949. After National Service he studied at the Royal College of Art for four years and was awarded the Abbey Travel Scholarship to visit Rome. In 1969 he was elected an Associate Member of the Royal Academy, becoming a full member in 1974. At that time, he was the yougest member ever elected. Fred has also been a member of the New English Art Club since 1960.
Fred has exhibited widely since his first one-man show at Thackeray Gallery, London, and has work in private and public collections internationally. In 2001 he was given the honour of being the 'Featured Artist' in the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, with an entire gallery of his own. In 2004, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the Arts at the University of Kent in Canterbury.
Fred has taught extensively, starting at the Harrow School of Art in 1956. In the following years, he also taught part-time at Maidstone (and Rochester) School of Art, 1957; Wathlemstow Art College, 1958-60; Hornsey Art School, 1960-65; Leicester School of Art 1, 1976; Farnham School of Art, 1978-83.
From 1977 through to 1985, Fred worked full-time at the Metropole Gallery, Folkestone. Here, he assisted "the Great John Eveleigh", the brains and energy behind a terrific program of exhibitions at the gallery, unequalled in the South East. Exhibiting artists at the Metropole at that time included Henry Moore, Stanley Spencer, Sir Sidney Nolan, Sir Peter Blake and Eduardo Paolozzi.
WritingIn writing about his work, Fred Cuming has said, "I am not interested in pure representation, my work is about responses to the moods and atmospheres generated by landscape, still life or interior. I am interested in the developments of 20th Century painting, in abstraction, that has been present in all movements, and in new ideas and art forms. My philosophy is that the more I work the more I discover. Drawing is essential as a tool of discovery; skill and mastery of technique are also essential, but only as a vocabulary and a means towards an idea. I struggle to keep an open mind".
With an everyday scene, through his subtle approach and through focusing on light and tone, he lends it an elevated atmosphere. His subjects are often oriented around the mood of the sea, skies, harbours, marshland, ships and figures wandering on beaches; Fred is constantly absorbing everything that is around him. Equally, interiors and still lifes are often sources of inspiration.
Fred lives with Audrey, his wife of nearly fifty years, near Rye in East Sussex. They have two children and five grandchildren.
His work is in many collections including the Royal Academy, Ministry of Works, Maidstone Museum, Carlisle Museum, Worcester College, Oxford, London Tourist Board, National Trust Foundation for Art, Department of the Environment, Brighton and Hove Museum, National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, Bradford Museum, New Metropole Arts Centre, Folkestone, Monte Carlo Museum, St John's College, Oxford, Lloyd's of London, London Weekend Television and the Guinness Collection.
1977 - Joint winner of Grand Prix Fine Art, Monte Carlo;
1986 - Sir Brinsley Ford Award, New English Club;
1988 - Grand Prix de l'Art Contemporaries;
1994 - House and Garden Award.