Scott Cumberland

Serious Whimsy

 February 7 - March 5, 2019 


'The paintings in Serious Whimsy attempt to investigate the often tenuous and complicated relationship between the ‘decorative’ and abstract painting. Using the Rococo art movement as a point of reference, I combine decorative patterning with my continued interest in the ribbon motif. My intention is to tease out concepts associated with the Rococo: elaborate ornamentation, theatrical design, levity and indulgence. Ultimately, they are serious paintings about whimsy.


The undulating, colourful ribbons are a cornerstone of my painting practice and function as a metaphor for a non-linear view of experience, time and thought. Through the ribbon and the decorative patterning, my work continues to explore the language of abstraction and themes of space, perception and time.


Like the metaphor, my process is anything but linear and chronological. I take pleasure in discovering a painting – fighting my way through an improvisational process that relies on the dichotomy of chance and control. Each painting begins without a definitive plan and draws inspiration and influence from not only the Rococo but from current and past poplar culture.'

-Scott Cumberland, 2018


Scott Cumberland (MFA University of Alberta, BFA University of Saskatchewan) is a Painting Technician/Demonstrator with the University of Alberta. He has previously taught Painting, Drawing and Art Fundamentals at the U of A in both the Department of Art and Design and Augustana Fine Arts Department. Scott maintains an active painting practice that explores, through the language of abstraction, themes of perception, time, and memory. His works are included in national and international collections including Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Canada Council Art Bank, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and numerous public and corporate collections.