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Forest Eater: Works by Darren Waterston
May 27, 2011 - October 02, 2011
John Dominis and Patches Damon Holt Gallery: The Arts of Hawai‘i
The Contemporary Museum

Exhibition Overview

At the Honolulu Academy of Arts: Through Sept. 12

At The Contemporary Museum: Through Oct. 2

Over the course of the past year, as part of The Contemporary Museum’s artist-in-residence program, New York-based artist Darren Waterston made several trips to Hawai‘i, where he hiked on lava flows at Volcanoes National Park and researched past artists’ depictions of and writings on Pele and volcanoes. The result is Forest Eater, his response to the landscape of Hawai‘i and his interest in Pele, Hawaiian goddess of fire, lightning and volcanoes. The two-part exhibition is staged at The Contemporary Museum, Makiki Heights, and at the Honolulu Academy of Arts.

For the installation at the Academy, Waterston selected works from the museum’s prints and drawings collection and combined them with his recent paintings on panel, canvas, and paper. The juxtaposition of historic and contemporary views of the volcanic landscape creates a thoughtful dialogue between past and present and marks the first time the Academy is exhibiting works from its collection within a contemporary artist’s installation.

Waterston’s recent work continues the tradition of visiting artists creating work reflecting their experience of Hawai‘i, as can be seen in paintings by artists from Jules Tavernier to Georgia O’Keeffe, also on view in the John Dominis and Patches Damon Holt Gallery. The Academy documented the phenomenon in its 1992 Academy exhibition and catalogue, Encounters with Paradise.

On view at The Contemporary Museum (Spalding House), is the majority of Waterston's Forest Eater series, including three new sculptures surrounded by more than 40 paintings. The installation’s centerpiece is a jaw-dropping 22-foot sculpture, Waterston’s largest to date, suspended from the museum’s ceiling.

Born in Fresno, California, Waterston's paintings, watercolors and murals have been exhibited internationally and are included in such museum collections as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, and the Portland Art Museum.—INGER TULLY, CURATOR OF EXHIBITIONS, THE CONTEMPORARY MUSEUM

Special programming:

May 27-June 5: See Waterston paint a mural on The Contemporary Museum's entry lanai during museum hours (Tue-Sat 10am-4pm, Sun noon-4pm).

Gallery talk at TCM: Saturday May 28, 1-2pm. RSVP: 237-5230,
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