Darren Waterston (born 1965) is an American artist who is mainly known for his ethereal paintings. He is represented by DC Moore Gallery, New York, and Inman Gallery in Houston, TX.
Waterson was born in California in 1965. He received his BFA at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. From 1986-87 he studied at the Akademie der Kunst, Berlin, Germany and Fachhochschule für Kunst, Münster, Germany.
In 2011, Waterston finished Forest Eater which comprised approximately fifty paintings and works on paper and four site-specific sculptures. The largest of the sculptures is “Wrath,” a forbidding eighteen-foot long vertical lava formation, which hung from the museum’s ceiling. The project was conceived specifically for the Honolulu Contemporary Art Museum
Filthy Lucre, also known as Uncertain Beauty, presents a dystopian version of The Peacock Room, James McNeill Whistler’s 1876 decorative masterpiece. Waterston's work, like The Peacock Room, probes and considers the conflation of painting, architecture, patronage, and artistic ego. The project was conceived specifically for the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and first exhibited in 2014. In May 2015, it opened at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, while The Peacock Room of the adjoining Freer Gallery of Art undergoes renovation.
Of The Flowering: The Fourfold Sense, DeWitt Cheng wrote: "Darren Waterston’s older paintings were lyrical misty landscapes with silhouetted flora and fauna. His newer works, symbolist abstractions, become mindscapes in which ambiguous transparent forms arise, float, flutter, and sink amid mist, clouds, swirls, drips, and vermicular coils of brushstrokes; each image with its poetic cycles of life represents the cosmos as 'a divine chaos.'"
Sue Taylor wrote: "Adept at a myriad of fluid effects, Waterston is a virtuosic colorist as well, enlivening the palest mauve and power-blue fogs with passages of burning orange or hot pink. In these apocalyptic dreams, he imagines flashing, otherworldly realms at the brink of consciousness."
Of Waterston's exhibition Last Days, Regina Hackett wrote: "If there's a more imitated painter in America than Darren Waterston, I can't imagine who it would be. Waterston's silky rot and colored goo are gorgeous. They imply a world in which the air has evolved to carry a weightless and more sophisticated kind of consciousness. Working in oils on panel, Waterston creates worlds inside the world, what Gerald Manley Hopkins' described in God's Grandeur: 'Because the Holy Ghost over the bent/ World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.' In the current exhibit, titled 'Last Days,' Waterston merges beauty with blight. He paints starlight inside a cave, roots in the air, and minerals dissolving into liquids. 'Fallen' features a hollowed-out and free-floating tree trunk. White orchids with stale, shadowed edges hang suspended under fragments of enameled blue sky."
May 16, 2015 – June 4, 2017, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC
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