DC Moore Gallery is pleased to present, Darren Waterston: In the Gloaming, an exhibition of new paintings reflecting on nightfall and the visions, dreams, and shadows that occupy that liminal world.
Gloaming, a word first used in the 12th century to describe twilight, takes form in Waterston’s paintings through waning light and shadow. Subtle variations evoke the changing light reflected in the artist’s abstracted forms; nebulous figures emerge from clouds of color, exploring the mutability of perception in this temporal threshold.
These new paintings assert the timeless power of tapping into the unconscious to reveal truths about individual and collective dreams. Waterston writes, “I am certainly giving a nod to French artist Odilon Redon (1840-1916) and the Symbolists before me but more so, I look to the act of painting to find a way to materialize what is unseeable–– to take a feeling, our dreams, even our collective loss, into something that says yes, I recognize that, I know what that is.”
Waterston builds up layers of jewel-toned hues in his works, giving the surface a distinctive luster and creating a depth of field. His meticulous mark-making, sweeping stains of color, and feathery brushstrokes whirl together in energetic combinations. In some, Waterston makes use of a more monochromatic palate, like Parable, which verges into a primordial landscape that could be ocean, sky, or earth. Smaller panel paintings and intimate paintings on paper immerse the viewer in this state, with recognizable symbols suspended in otherworldly space for the mind to navigate as in a dream.
In 2020, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London opened Darren Waterston's Filthy Lucre: Whistler's Peacock Room Reimagined, a detailed and decadent interpretation of James Abbott McNeill Whistler's famed Peacock Room, a sumptuous 19th-century interior. Filthy Lucre was created by the artist in collaboration with MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts. His solo exhibition, Uncertain Beauty at MASS MoCA, (2014-2015), ran concurrently with the exhibition that featured Filthy Lucre at Freer/Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. (2015-2017).
In 2013, Prestel published a collaboration between the artist and poet Mark Doty, A Swarm, A Flock, a Host: A Compendium of Creatures. Darren Waterston: Filthy Lucre, was published by Skira Rizzoli in association with MASS MoCA and the Freer/Sackler in 2014.
Waterston’s paintings are included in numerous permanent collections including the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA; British Library, London, England; Honolulu Museum of Art, HI; Knoxville Museum of Art, TN; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; New York Public Library, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, CA; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Portland Art Museum, OR; and the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA. The artist lives and works in Kinderhook, New York.
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Darren Waterston in Conversation with Xavier Salomon
April 18, 2023