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Press Release

DC Moore Gallery is pleased to present Darren Waterston: Notes from the Air, featuring all-new paintings by Darren Waterston. The exhibition title is taken from a volume of selected late poems by John Ashbery, whose themes of nature, wonder, and experience continue to be an important influence on Waterston’s work.

Waterston’s paintings are a continuation of his uniquely descriptive approach to expressing states of consciousness, using the landscape as metaphor and poetic space. The works depict otherworldly environments - nature as a heady fever-dream, destabilized, and teeming with quiet activity. They are alluring and on the threshold of the recognizable and the fantastical.

Waterston asserts the ever-present Surrealist impulse, having looked closely at the work of Hercules Segers, Max Ernst, and Odilon Redon while developing these paintings last winter. He remarks of his process:

“I often start out constructing a painterly description of space and spatiality, which may include sky, clouds, rocky cliffs, a verdant glade, but with every descriptive execution there is always the counterpart of abstraction and playful distortion of what is being depicted. I love the interchange between the beautiful and the monstrous.” -DW

This sublimity is further underscored by shifting perspectives, geological, voluptuous forms morphing diaphanously, and fluid layers of deep, saturated color. Waterston is especially interested in exploring how a profound sense of vastness can be achieved and expressed in smaller scale panels, on view for this exhibit.

Darren Waterston graduated with a BFA from the Otis Art Institute/Parsons, having previously studied at the Akademie der Künste and the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, both in Germany. 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 previous solo exhibition, Uncertain Beauty at MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts (2014-2015), ran concurrently with the exhibition that featured 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.

Viewing Room for Darren Waterston: Notes from the Air

This exhibition runs concurrently with Valerie Jaudon: Prepositions.

For press inquiries contact Caroline Magavern.

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