Robert Cummings

The Secret Life of Objects

Exhibition Website

Feb 18 2017 - May 28 2017

Perception, language and the nuances of photographic vision are common themes in the work of Robert Cumming (American, b. 1943). His method of portraying the physically impossible so that it appears visually accurate has its roots in his early career as a painter, sculptor, performance artist, and mail artist. Cumming’s elaborate set ups, fabricated according to a creative logic of his own devising, were often the outcome of weeks of planning, followed by a flurry of building and assembling. He would then photograph what he built and present the results as black-and-white 8-by-10 prints. It is notable that the quality of his photographic work is high, for anything less would detract from the more serious nature of Cumming’s intent: to encourage viewers to reevaluate the world through his deep appreciation for absurdity.

[....] this is the first major US exhibition devoted exclusively to Robert Cumming’s photography, which had a profound impact on the history of photography and the development of Conceptual art in the 1970s.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.

Whether or not you go, you may be interested in this book:

Robert Cumming: The Difficulties of Nonsense

  • Photography
  • American
  • Contemporary
  • Robert Cumming

Exhibition Venues & Dates