In seven new paintings and a large mixed-media wall installation, Cummings explores the workings of conflict in both visual art and human endeavors. Whether “high vs. low,” “abstraction vs. realism,” or “formalism vs. narrative,” themes and constructs of visual art parallel personal conflicts in our day-to-day lives—-such as “man vs. nature,” nature vs. machine,” “winning vs. losing,” etc. Cummings blends these parallel arenas, resolving elements that we expect not to work together through an exquisite sense of composition. Representational and abstract elements within Cummings’ paintings demand to be connected on an experiential human level. But they consistently defy any sensible narrative, eventually leading the viewer to the realization that it’s the very fact that the elements are at odds with one another that serves as the glue that holds the compositions together.
On one wall of the gallery, Cummings has also collaged drawings, framed and unframed, with knickknacks and other found objects, forming an extensive installation that serves as a legend to the vocabulary of his paintings as well as its own expressionistic composition. With a broad range of styles and subjects, his drawings are mixed to reflect his personal choices but-
-like his paintings—the juxtapositions eventually lead the viewer along just so far before some compositional roadblock places their growing narrative in limbo, highlighting the experiential impact of conflict itself.