Contemporary Artists

Fred Cuming is a vital part of the English landscape painting tradition. He has always been fascinated by the changing landscape around us: the skies, fabulous rainbows and wonderful rapid violent storms.



Born in 1930, in London, Fred attended Sidcup School of Art from1945-1949. After having completed his National Service, he attended the Royal College of Art in 1951, winning a Rome Scholarship and an Abbey Minor Scholarship. In 1964, he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy (ARA), and a Royal Academician (RA) in 1974. A member of the New English Art Club, Associate of the Royal College of Art, Fred lives and works in East Sussex.

Cuming’s first one-man show was held in 1978 at the Thackeray Gallery, London, and since then he has exhibited regularly in solo shows throughout the UK and more recently in the United States. His work has also been included in many group exhibitions since 1953, and in 2001, he was given the honour of being the featured artist in the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, with an entire gallery within the show being dedicated to his work.

CAt Cover 2013

Fred Cuming RA- New paintings - Please click to download

While Cuming’s passion for the sky and the coastline is a regular theme, this exhibition continues his exploration of light and tone and how he represents the natural world and its elevated atmosphere. The East Sussex coastline, in particular the area around Camber and Rye, has provided the backdrop for much of Fred’s work. For his latest show, he returns to Cornwall, Rye and the Kent Coast. Like Turner and Nash before him, he is fascinated by the ever-changing skies formation as well as the subject of the moods he feels around the sea, skies, harbours, marshland, ships and figures wandering on beaches. These subjects are painted loosely with a restricted and light palette creating a dreamy effect. Cuming wrote for the RA ‘I am not interested in pure representation. My work is about responses to the moods and atmospheres generated by landscape.’ Cuming’s powerful imagination continuously absorbs everything that is around him and is clearly demonstrated in his art, however, recently Fred claims it’s only after 50 years, that he is gaining the ability to feel for it.

Catalogue cover

'Passion for coast and sky' exhibition - pdf catalogue

Inspired by masters of colour such as J.M.W. Turner, Pierre Bonnard, Henri Matisse and Paul Nash, Cuming explains ‘Marvellous colourists are few and far between – I would love to be one!’ Cuming’s major subject is how to use colour and light in his painting to represent the natural world.

Unfazed by fashions ‘that come and go’ such as the Pop Art movement of the 50s, Cuming is painting the same things now as when he was a ‘young lad’. He has been looking at them for years and striving to find some way of saying how much he loves them. These paintings show an artist at the height of his powers: in his own words he rejoices in ‘finally understanding what I’m all about. I am in my own little boat and trying to find something to say’.

Fred Cuming RA intro

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Fred Cuming RA full video

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