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 Darren Waterston  (1965 - )

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Lived/Active: New York / Germany      Known for: abstract landscape and non objective painting, installation, interiors

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
TENDRILS, 1997
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Darren Waterston graduated with a BFA from the Otis Art Institute in 1988, having previously studied at the Akademie der Künste and the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, both in Germany. His exhibition "Uncertain Beauty", which includes the installation Filthy Lucre, is currently on view at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA through February 23rd, 2015, and will travel to The Smithsonian Institution's Freer/Sackler Galleries in May 2015.

Darren Waterston: Filthy Lucre was recently published by Skira Rizzoli in association with MASS MoCA and the Freer/Sackler.

Darren Waterston has been exhibiting his paintings, works on paper, and installations in the U.S. and abroad since the early 1990s. Recent exhibition highlights include: Forest Eater at The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu (2011); Splendid Grief: The Afterlife of Leland Stanford Jr. (2009), an installation at The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, CA; and The Flowering (The Fourfold Sense) (2007), at the Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR.

In 2007 CHARTA published a monograph on the artist, "Darren Waterston: Representing the Invisible", and in 2013 Prestel published a collaboration between the artist and poet Mark Doty, "A Swarm, A Flock, a Host: A Compendium of Creatures."

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; Portland Art Museum, Oregon; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle; and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Waterston lives and works in New York City. Darren Waterston graduated with a BFA from the Otis Art Institute in 1988, having previously studied at the Akademie der Künste and the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, both in Germany. His exhibition "Uncertain Beauty", which includes the installation Filthy Lucre, is currently on view at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA through February 23rd, and will travel to The Smithsonian Institution's Freer/Sackler Galleries in May 2015. Darren Waterston: Filthy Lucre was recently published by Skira Rizzoli in association with MASS MoCA and the Freer/Sackler.

Darren Waterston has been exhibiting his paintings, works on paper, and installations in the U.S. and abroad since the early 1990s. Recent exhibition highlights include: "Forest Eater" at The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu (2011); "Splendid Grief: The Afterlife of Leland Stanford Jr." (2009), an installation at The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, CA; and "The Flowering" (The Fourfold Sense) (2007), at the Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR.

In 2007 CHARTA published a monograph on the artist, "Darren Waterston: Representing the Invisible", and in 2013 Prestel published a collaboration between the artist and poet Mark Doty, "A Swarm, A Flock, a Host: A Compendium of Creatures."

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; Portland Art Museum, Oregon; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle; and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Waterston lives and works in New York City.

Source: Website of the Artist

Biography from Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art:
Following is exhibition text, February 22, 2015.

Painter Darren Waterston's installation, Filthy Lucre -- the centerpiece of Uncertain Beauty -- is a contemporary re-imagining of James McNeill Whistler's 1876 decorative masterpiece Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room. Waterston became fascinated with The Peacock Room both for its unrivaled union of painting and architecture and for its dramatic story of patronage and artistic ego.

The original -- the dining room of the London home of shipping magnate Frederick Leyland -- was designed to showcase Leyland's collection of Asian ceramics, with Whistler's painting La Princesse du pays de la porcelaine (1863-64) featured over the mantel. Asked to consult on the color scheme for the room, Whistler took bold -- if not egregious -- liberties while Leyland and his architect were away and in a fit of enthusiasm painted the entire room -- executing his now famous peacocks over the expensive Italian leather wall panels. The collector refused to pay the artist and banned him from his house; Whistler, in response, painted an unflattering caricature of his patron titled The Gold Scab: Eruption in Frilthy Lucre (The Creditor). Conflating the words frilly and filthy, Whistler made a jab at Leyland's own "peacocking" as well as his miserliness.

At MASS MoCA Waterston reconstructs the historical room as a sumptuous ruin. Inside, viewers will find Waterston's re-interpretations of Whistler's paintings, along with stalactite-like ceiling fixtures and crumbling shelving replete with 250 hand-painted ceramic vessels.

Glaze will appear to ooze down the wall, and the shimmering central peacock mural will partially melt into the floor in a puddle of gold. A soundscape featuring voice and cello composed by the New York-based trio BETTY will be heard intermittently through the space, punctuating the silence with hauntingly beautiful reverberations. The installation hints at parallels between the excesses and inequities of the Gilded Age and the social and economic disparities of our own time. At the same time, the work raises questions about patronage and the relationships between artists, collectors, and institutions.

Darren Waterston: Uncertain Beauty also features a selection of Waterston's works on wood panel and canvas. These luminous paintings, which seem to glow from within, transport viewers to other-worldly spaces, somewhat familiar but unhinged from a particular time or place. Like Filthy Lucre, they express both the grotesque and the beautiful, hinting at utopian fantasies and Arcadian dreams, as well as apocalyptic nightmares.

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