DARREN WATERSTON: ECSTATIC LANDSCAPE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DARREN WATERSTON: ECSTATIC LANDSCAPE
SMARCH 23 – APRIL 28, 2018
Opening Reception with the Artist
DC MOORE GALLERY is pleased to present its first exhibition by Darren Waterston, Remote Futures. This recent body of work explores the allure and menace of utopian fantasy, where an imagined, idealized paradise holds within it a disconcerting future.
Waterston has often engaged with mythological, theological, and natural histories while proposing visual depictions of the ineffable that transcend the picture plane. In Remote Futures, there is evidence of human life in the fragments of architecture—temples, cathedrals, ziggurats, bridges—that emerge from the organic detritus. These scenes evoke places of refuge, offering an escape from the processes of time and mortality. For Waterston, however, utopian potential is untenable as such. With abstracted elements that are both corporeal and celestial, Waterston’s scenes become simultaneously Edenic and dystopian.
Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. Press previews can be arranged prior to the exhibition. For more information, for photographs, or to arrange a viewing, please contact Meg Bowers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To Meet as Far as This Morning (2018), is one of the four imposing canvases that anchor the show. A craggy entity, like a rock formation sculpted over millennia by water and time, hovers centrally in the gloaming. Behind it a hematoma of pink light breaks up the expanse of gray sky, infusing the work with an unexpected electric charge. In the foreground, abstracted shapes composed of whorls of paint that suggest a topographical map unfurl across the canvas. Each form is given space to exist on its own but there is a purposeful incompleteness that heightens the psychological tension of the work. The viewer stands on the threshold of the real and the unreal, as the painting seems to offer a portal to transcendence that remains just out of reach.
As a counterpoint, Our Passage (2018) disorients in its refusal to delineate concrete forms. An expanse in shades of blue, ranging from turquoise to nearly black and spattered with points of white light, it may be a seascape or a starscape but conforms decisively to neither. The eye roams across the panel, searching, and alights on a patch of cerulean almost at the work’s center. It emerges as another portal, which is then echoed by the dark outer edges of the painting, suggesting a feeling of peering through the egress of a cave. Are we gazing at a night sky, or a deep, underwater cavern? Or perhaps instead it is a landscape of the mind, a panorama of the deep unconscious that exists within us all, yet always remains outside our grasp of understanding. Landscapes of the unknown, or perhaps the imagined, Waterston’s work suggests not only the grandeur of nature but also the instability of dreams.
Also on view will be Studio Wall: Some Trees, a title referencing the enigmatic John Ashbery poem of the same name, which touches on themes of wonder and experience. This intimate installation will be composed of historical prints of the Northern Renaissance from the artist’s personal collection alongside his own small panel paintings and works on paper. Hung in a darkened, ecclesiastical space, these personal works invite contemplation. They speak to the meditative, spiritual connections found in nature, and highlight some of the influences that inspired the genesis of the current exhibition.
Darren Waterston graduated with a BFA from the Otis Art Institute/Parsons in 1988, having previously studied at the Akademie der Künste and the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, both in Germany. His solo exhibition, Uncertain Beauty at MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts (2014-2015), ran concurrent with the exhibition that featured Waterston’s immersive installation Filthy Lucre at Freer | Sackler Museum at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. (2015-2017). Waterston’s paintings are included in numerous permanent collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; New York Public Library, New York City; The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle; and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The artist lives in New York City.
Gallery talk: Darren Waterston in Conversation with Susan Cross Curator of Visual Arts MASS MoCA
Thursday, April 19th at 6:30pm
DC MOORE GALLERY specializes in contemporary and twentieth-century art. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 6 pm. For more information, for photographs, or to arrange a viewing, please call 212-247-2111 or email Sabeena Khosla at email@example.com