The semi-abstract, meditative paintings of Darren Waterston have become familiar to Seattle audiences through his many exhibits at the Greg Kucera Gallery in Pioneer Square. Now the Bellevue Art Museum presents a retrospective of his work, an opportunity to see the way his style has evolved over the past ten years. An additional feature of the exhibit is a collection of pottery by the avant-garde legend Beatrice Wood, a friend and mentor of the artist. Here with our review is KUOW art critic, Gary Faigin.
By far the largest picture in the Darren Waterston retrospective is a 30-foot mural painted directly on the gallery wall. Commissioned by the museum, it features a panorama of the artist’s peculiar cast of characters — a biological soup of floating tendrils, amoebae, assorted drips, and hairy round black things. But the work, while impressive in scale, is not one of the painter’s finer moments. The flat, acrylic blobs on the plain gallery wall simply refuse to morph into anything other than they are — a sort of caricature of the artist’s real work, visible alongside.