Matthew Marks is pleased to announce an exhibition of new photographs and sculpture by Darren Almond at his gallery at 523 West 24th Street. This will be the first exhibition of the artist's work in New York in four years.
Inspired by the work of Joseph Brodsky, a Russian poet who spent seven years in a Siberian labor camp before his 1972 exile and emigration to the United States, Darren Almond has made an exhibition of stark contrasts. The gallery will be installed with images of color photographs of great lushness and black & white photographs of frozen desolation, while the center of the space will be occupied by a wall-mounted aluminum plaque with the original Russian text of Brodsky's A Part of Speech, a poem about the memory of his lost homeland.
Almond traveled to Siberia to make the black and white photographs, images of a damaged wooden bridge along the world's northernmost railway, built to access the Norilsk nickel mines. This dilapidated bridge marks the site of a mass grave, as an estimated 60,000 prisoners died during the railways construction. The bridge is considered to be an unofficial monument to the loss of life: bodies were literally used as ballast.
The color photographs are part of the artist's ongoing Fullmoon series, made using long exposures at night during a full moon. The artist relies entirely on his own memory of the daytime landscape to produce these pictures: after visiting the site during the day, he returns at night to position his camera in complete darkness. The resulting images are lush and vividly colored and bear an unusual, almost magical light. Almond writes, "the dark of night generates solitude as no one is around, so the images themselves reveal a certain emptiness of human spirit. For me they provide a point of entry into memory." In the past, Almond has made his Fullmoon pictures on the preferred sites of some of the great artists of the 19th century, including Constable, Turner, Caspar David Friedrich, and Jackson Pollock. To make this new group, the artist traveled to the California Gold Coast, the same sites that Carleton Watkins photographed more than 100 years ago. Between both sets of landscape we can find the position that influenced Brodsky and his cold war exile in the United States.
Darren Almond (b. 1971) lives and works in London. This will be his third exhibition at Matthew Marks Gallery. Almond participated in the 2003 Venice Biennale and has had one-person museum exhibitions at the Kunsthalle Zurich; de Appel Centre for Contemporary Art in Amsterdam; the Tate Britain, London; K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf; and the Lentos Kunstmuseum in Linz, Austria.
Darren Almond will be on view at the Matthew Marks Galleries, 523 West 24th Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues) through June 25, 2005. Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
For further information or reproductions please contact Sabrina Buell at 212-243-0200.