Darren Almond was born in 1971 in Wigan, England. He received his B.F.A from Winchester School of Art and now lives and works in London. Almond’s art explores relationships between time and place, often using personal or historical memory. Mean Time, his forty-foot cargo container with a digital clock and global tracking satellite, is representative of these themes. He traveled alongside the clock on a freighter in 2000 from London to New York, and then installed it in the Matthew Marks Gallery. On the journey, he drew five “star maps” to compare the visual consistency of the sky to vast environmental and industrial changes from prehistory to the present.
Almond uses installation, film, sculpture, and photography to create his work. His artistic subjects range from a video of his grandmother recalling a memory, making him a finalist for the Turner Prize in 2005, to a relocation of Auschwitz bus-stop shelters in an installation that premiered at the Renaissance Society in Chicago in 1997. However, he is most widely recognized for his moonlit landscape photography. The website of The Tate remarks “Almond’s scenes present a world unseen by the human eye—only the camera can expose this sepia-tinted world of night made light. These photographs, each a single frame of exposure, allow the experience of time to be captured and intensified.”
Almond began photographing his Fullmoon series in 1998 and in the summer of 2010 he worked at Crown Point Press to extend this concept into four color photogravures. The artist himself retraced the paths of historical explorers through Uganda. These works, with exposures lasting over fifteen minutes, capture the warmth and life of a night-masked nature. In addition, a portfolio of five black and white photogravures, Civil Dawn, illuminates the moment before daybreak on Japan’s mist-covered Mount Hiei. Almond says of the photogravure process: “There’s a different energy breathing through the images than you can get in ordinary photographic printing. These have a different depth to them. They feel more sculptural, more like objects”. In 2018 Almond visited the Crown Point studio again and made a portfolio of photogravures, Amalfi Sketchbook, and nine color aquatints.
Though most of Almond’s work has no human subjects, there remains a sense of human existence. His moonlit landscapes infused with atmospheric light mesmerize viewers in ways that contrast to his loud clock, which keeps a strict focus on every second. Knowing that time is invariable, he distorts one’s ability to perceive it.
Almond’s first one-person exhibition was in 1995 at Great Western Studios, London. In 1997 he had an exhibition at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts and began a continuing association with the Jay Jopling/White Cube Gallery in London. Since then, his work has been exhibited in many respected institutions all over the world, including the Kunsthalle Zurich; De Appel, Amsterdam; Herzliya Museum of Art, Israel; Site Santa Fe, New Mexico; the Parasol Unit Foundation, London; Tate Britain; and the Museum Folkwang, Essen. Darren Almond is represented in New York by the Matthew Marks Gallery.
-Kathan Brown, Crown Point Press
Darren Almond at Crown Point Press, 2018
Watch this 3-minute video of the British artist Darren Almond working on his 2018 etchings.
Darren Almond Photogravures (5 minutes)
Darren Almond is working at Crown Point Press on photogravures of the White Nile in Africa and of mist on Mt. Hiei in Japan.