Boomoon at Flowers Gallery and Darren Almond at White Cube

Filed in Reviews by on April 1, 2014

Boomoon at Flowers Gallery // Darren Almond at White Cube


Flowers Gallery

26 February to 5 April 2014


Darren Almond

White Cube

22 January to 13 April 2014

Darren Almond

My first encounter with Boomoon’s work took place only a short while ago at Art14 where I laid eyes on a few Stargazing photographs. Last week, I visited Flowers Gallery to see more of his work. Flowers Gallery presents fourteen works from the series Sansu, Naksan, Northscape and On the Clouds. These works are quite large, ranging from 120 cm to 210 cm high and 117 cm to 240 cm wide, and show natural environments: a stormy sea, blue arctic ice formations, snowy mountain tops and a view above the clouds in deep blue and soft white. Even though most of these photographs depict an (almost) uninhabitable terrain there is a stillness in them that immediately silences the viewer. Some of them have a drawing-like quality, which is due to the composition and the overall black and white appearance. These pictures also strongly reminded me of Tacita Dean’s installation at Documenta 13 with drawings of mountains and seas in white chalk on blackboard.

That day, I also visited Darren Almond’s work at the White Cube and I was struck by the similarities  in subject and presentation. Darren Almond shows large photographs of mountains, rocks, ice and forrests, combined with poetic texts and small polished bronze objects titled Apollo 14. I noticed that while Boomoon shows no human interference in the natural landscape at all, in Almond’s photographs there are still traces and manmade objects visible. It becomes clear that even the large vertical rocks are not natural in their placing and were erected by man around 2900 BC.

Boomoon shows the greatness of nature, creating a contemplative atmosphere in the gallery and ‘awareness’ among the viewers. Awareness of being alive in this world and knowing you exist, regardless of being human. While Darren Almond focusses on the relationship between man and nature, the way we shape our world and the mark we make. The exhibition title  To Leave a Light Impression seems to be a critical note to us humans, especially considering global warming. But is also a reference to the way a photograph is taken: with light.

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Mahal De Man

About the Author ()

Mahal de Man is a Dutch artist and graduated at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. In November 2013 she moved to London.

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