12 January – 18 February 2023
White Cube West Palm Beach
White Cube West Palm Beach is pleased to present an exhibition of works by Darren Almond, Isamu Noguchi and Virginia Overton, artists whose visual language is informed by the majesty of the natural world – its laws, formations and temporality.
The selection of works in this exhibition take the broad theme of our relationship to landscape, and more specifically the material substance that underlies it. The exhibition considers the unique ways the artists have addressed the paradoxical nature of metal: its signification as an industrial and man-made material which overrides its origins as matter of the earth. Whether solid mass, flexible sheet or delicate leaf, each of the works harness the innate qualities of metals, and reflect the artists’ approach to the medium as one capable of bridging the natural and the artificial, the ancient and the modern, the found and the fabricated.
Darren Almond presents a new series of paintings that speak to the artist’s continuing fascination with nature and the constructs of time, and feature fragments of numbers in precious metal leaf arranged in rhythmic patterns across gridded panels. Drawing on Japanese Rinpa painting from the Edo period (1615–1868) and the tradition of religious icon painting, Almond’s use of metals in these works point to a history of tension between spheres of wealth, power and spirituality.
In Isamu Noguchi’s metal sculptures, the time-bound themes of fragility and durability are counterpoised to arresting effect. Reflecting on the lasting impact of bronze, Noguchi remarked: ‘When the oldest alloy of the Bronze Age becomes a product of modern industry, the contradictory nature of time becomes apparent. I believe we see with time, that of space, volume, structure, the time lag of sight.’
In her sculptures and installations, Virginia Overton frequently transforms discarded materials and, thus, their attendant narratives or histories. Her new installation Untitled (Skylight Gem) (2022), for example, began with a permanent commission for the central atrium at La Guardia airport, New York. Inspired by pyramidal glass skylights – a prominent architectural feature distinguishing the New York skyline – Overton has reformed sections of leaded skylights into enclosed forms that are suspended and lit from within, a star-like nucleus of energy.
Inspired by the elements – as well as specific phenomena, such as the cloud, the root, an everglade – these works use varied techniques and treatments of metal to articulate the artists’ sensitivity to compositional harmony and profound respect for natural beauty.
Darren Almond was born in 1971 in Wigan, UK and lives and works in London. Solo exhibitions include Jesus College, Cambridge (2019); Villa Pignatelli-Casa della Fotografia, Naples, Italy (2018); Mudam, Luxembourg (2017); Museum Sinclair Haus, Bad Homberg, Germany (2016); Scai the Bathhouse, Tokyo (2016); New Art Centre, Salisbury, UK (2016); Neue Galerie, Graz, Austria (2015); Dirimart, Istanbul (2015); Bloomberg Space, London (2014); Art Tower Mito, Japan (2013); Sala Alcalá 31, Madrid (2013); Château Gallery, Domaine Régional de Chaumont-sur-Loire, France (2012); The High Line, New York (2011); Villa Merkel, Esslingen am Neckar, Germany (2011); L’Abbaye de la Chaise Dieu, France (2011); Frac Normandie, Rouen, France (2011); FRAC Auvergne, Clermont Ferrand, France (2011); and Parasol Unit, London (2008). He has participated in numerous group exhibitions including Parasol Unit, Venice (2022); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2022); Getty Center, Los Angeles (2021); Fondation Van Gogh, Arles, France (2020); Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2019); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark (2018); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2018); Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna (2017); Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz, France (2016); Royal Academy of Arts, London (2015); Nottingham Contemporary, UK (2015); Helmhaus, Zurich, Switzerland (2011); 6th Biennale de Curitiba, Brazil (2011); Miami Art Museum (2011); Musée d’Art Contemporain du Val-de-Marne, Vitry-sûr-Seine, France (2010); Tate Triennial, Tate Britain, London (2009); Frac Lorraine, Metz, France (2009); 2nd Moscow Biennale (2007); and The Turner Prize, Tate Britain, London (2005).
Isamu Noguchi was born in 1904 in Los Angeles to a Japanese father and an American mother. His work has been internationally exhibited throughout his lifetime and posthumously at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2004); the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (2004); Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City (1999); National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (1992); Yurakucho Art Forum (1985); Storm King Art Center, New York (1984); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1978); and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1977). Noguchi’s work with public space, the most important and consistent part of his practice, reflected his strong belief in the social impact of sculpture. His first major commission was History Mexico (1936), a large relief for a public market in Mexico City, followed by many others, including News (1938–39) a sculpture for the Associated Press Building in Rockefeller Center, New York City; gardens for Reader’s Digest in Tokyo (1951; later destroyed) and UNESCO headquarters in Paris (1956–58); sunken gardens in stone for the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University (1960–64) and Chase Manhattan Bank in New York City (1961–64); and many other public spaces in cities from Los Angeles and Detroit to Jerusalem, Osaka, Munich and Bologna. In 1985 he founded the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum (now The Noguchi Museum) across the street from his studio in Long Island City, NY. It was the first, and is still the only, museum in the United States created by an artist to show their own work. The following year, Noguchi represented the United States at the Venice Biennale, the first time the U.S. Pavilion had been devoted to a single artist.
Virginia Overton was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1971 and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Solo exhibitions include Frist Art Museum, Nashville (2022); Goldsmiths CCA, London (2022); White Cube Hong Kong (2020); Socrates Sculpture Park, New York (2018); Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson, Arizona (2017); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2016); The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut (2016); Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami (2014); Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster, Germany (2013); Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland (2013); The Power Station, Dallas, Texas (2013); and The Power House, Memphis, Tennessee (2007). Group exhibitions include 59th Venice Biennale (2022); The Ranch, Montauk, New York (2021); Hayward Gallery, London (2020); Front Triennial, Cleveland (2018); Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, Michigan (2017); and Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2016).