Robert CummingAmerican (Worcester, Massachusetts, 1943)
Of 8 Balls Dropped from the Peak of the Roof, 2 Fell to the North, 6 Fell to the East
In 1970, after teaching painting and drawing for a few years at the University of Wisconsin, Cumming drove to Los Angeles with his friend, the photographer William Wegman. There Cumming joined a thriving community of conceptual artists interested in challenging traditional definitions of art and expanding the boundaries of various media.
Drawing on his interests in non-art sources such as tool catalogues, scientific illustrations, and the theater, Cumming set up various tableaux in the backyard of his home in Orange County. This photograph is from a series titled Four Sides of a Small House. Part performance, part photography, and part sculpture, many of his pictures explore logic and the passage of time.
Cumming went on to teach in the Los Angeles area before returning his home state of Massachusetts, where he continues to work on his photography, sculpture, painting, writing, and teaching. In 2001 he published Art: A Field Guide.