‘Full Circle’, a new group of paintings by Darren Almond, takes the four seasons as a given structure for conceptual abstraction. Almond looks to nature and the constructs of time, contrasting the modern numerical quantification of time with a more ancient, celestial rhythm.
With these ‘landscapes’, Almond expands and extends the language of his earlier works with the addition of a compositional counterpart. In these new paintings diagonal batons of colour now appear to rain across the picture plane, a binary action that ‘redefines spatial awareness’. As the artist states, ‘two sides of a limitless logic are now drawn together and united through the nature of vision’.
‘There are two things...the eye for the vision of nature and the brain for the logic of organized sensations.’
Almond's fragmented numerical integers, as drawn from base ten (the reductive method of assigning a place value to numbers), are now freed from the conceptual rigours which were previously informed by order and logic. Combined with cascading accents of colour that appear to float across the grid of canvases, the compositions are informed by the representation of nature in Japanese aesthetics and its ability to capture seasonal change and the sublime landscape − the very essence of beauty. Treating the grid as a gateway to the abstract and numbers as the conduit of a ‘common language’, Almond’s paintings are an abstract field of representation, a codified pattern rooted in memory and sensorial experience, and the artist’s own encounters with the landscape.
‘There are many ways of seeing, but the truest and best is with intuition, for it takes in the whole, whereas the intellect only takes in a part. Pattern is born when one reproduces the intuitively perceived essence.’
A third element enters the ‘timeframe of reading when looking at these paintings’. Across their surfaces' Almond has applied and burnished precious metals and alloys that are integral to the compositions. These elements reference the tradition of icon painting and also the conflicting ideas of wealth, power and spirituality. The very nature of these materials is such that any glimmer of ambient light situates the paintings in real time, so their surfaces operate at that almost imperceivable, liminal distance between memory and the present.
Although no one has yet seen them fall, The colourful maple leaves in the mountains are the gold brocade of the nights.
‘The eye and fantasy feel more attracted by nebulous distance than by that which is close and distinct.’
Create an Account
To view available artworks and access prices.