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Max Rumbol, The Flower of Kent

Max Rumbol’s latest body of work is exhibited in The Flower of Kent at Union Gallery curated by William Gustafsson.

When the Apple Drops 2020 Oil, acrylic and spray paint on wood panel with wooden relief 123 x 69 cm Max Rumbol DETAIL Coutesy the artist and gallery
When the Apple Drops 2020 Oil, acrylic and spray paint on wood panel with wooden relief 123 x 69 cm Max Rumbol DETAIL Coutesy the artist and gallery

Throughout time we have been hammered with the myth of an artist as a genius, an obsessive laborer, a
crazy solitary being. We often inherently value artwork as a direct trace of the artist’s hand. Rumbol’s wood- carving works transcend the practices of sculpture and painting bringing the result into a unique blend. His creative process relies heavily on computer machinery; the automated hand. Rumbol’s compositions begin with sketches, progressing into digital drawings which are then transformed through a clinical process into a physical work. Rumbol labors these manufactured sculptural surfaces, bringing them into a physical space by manually working the surfaces in di erent ways to reveal or hide the trace of the artist’s hand. In doing so, a dialogue is created where one can question what the artist’s role is or where their hand lies.

Before Jorge 2020 Oil, acrylic and spray paint on wood panel with wooden relief 44 x 33 cm Max Rumbol
Before Jorge 2020 Oil, acrylic and spray paint on wood panel with wooden relief 44 x 33 cm Max Rumbol Courtesy the artist and gallery

The works presented in The Flower of Kent are semi-autobiographical; reflecting on Rumbol’s role as an artist and exploring his thoughts during lockdown. These artist figures are imagined, fantastical characters that are presented alongside a picture of their surrounding worlds, which only add to the myth of the artist. Rumbol works prominently at night; the idea of nocturnal working drenches the works in a dark, oppressive manner. The artist struggles to leave this transcendental state of night, which embodies an over exaggerated and romanticized obsession with making.

When the Apple Drops 2020 Oil, acrylic and spray paint on wood panel with wooden relief 123 x 69 cm Max Rumbol
When the Apple Drops 2020 Oil, acrylic and spray paint on wood panel with wooden relief 123 x 69 cm Max Rumbol Courtesy the artist and gallery

Based in rural England, Rumbol plays with the romanticized idea of the British countryside. Whilst it’s beauty is never denied, the landscape and pastoral life are impinged by the reality of the drab and gloomy last light of the day; the stars and moon casting the only light.

The motif of the apple is featured throughout the exhibition. Since the beginning of “time” the apple has been omnipresent. We only look to the story of Adam and Eve and the apple as the forbidden fruit as the source of all evil. Yet it is versatile, leading to Isaac Newton’s ‘eureka’ moment in the law of gravity. e Flower of Kent’s work, with the action of the apple falling, is an ode to that tale. Rumbol’s fetishisation of this speci c fruit helps to relate to the idea of art object as fetish object; a trace of the artist’s hand.

Max Rumbol, The Flower of Kent until – Saturday 31st October 2020 Union Gallery

About the Artist

Max Rumbol (b. 1997 in UK) attended the Ruskin School of Art at the University of Oxford from 2016 – 2019. e Flower of Kent is Rumbol’s debut UK solo exhibition-having graduated last year and featured in exhibitions in the UK, France and Spain. UNION Gallery will be presenting further works by Rumbol in a group show in January 2021.
Rumbol lives and works in Buckinghamshire, UK.

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