American, b. 1965
Lives and works in New York
Darren Waterston’s carefully crafted paintings and works on paper suggest geological, botanical, and celestial associations. Visually engaging, Waterston’s works toggle between the allegorical, the alchemical, and the apocalyptic. His recent practice has examined the coalescence between painting and architecture in Western art history, while demonstrating paradoxical ideas of attraction and revulsion.
Waterston’s recent large-scale projects include Uncertain Beauty, commissioned by Mass MoCA in 2014. This groundbreaking solo exhibition includes an ambitious installation entitled Filthy Lucre—an homage to James McNeil Whistler’s Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room (1876–1877); it is currently on view at the Freer|Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. through 2017. Filthy Lucre is also the title of a 160-page catalogue published in 2015 to compliment Waterston’s installation.
Waterston received his BFA at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. He continued his training in Germany, studying painting at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin and the Kunstakademie Münster. He is the recipient of the Richard C. Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship at the San Francisco Art Institute (2004), and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship in Umbertide, Italy (2005), where he was an artist-in-residence. Waterston has been showcased in solo exhibitions at Bellevue Art Museum, WA (2003); San Jose Museum of Art, CA (2006); Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, CA (2009); Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, HI (2011); Poet’s House, New York, NY (2013); MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA (2014–2015); and Freer|Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C. (2016–2017). His works are included in the collections of institutions such as Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, CA; Oakland Museum of California; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA; the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA; the Seattle Art Museum, WA; Portland Art Museum, OR; and The British Library, London, UK.