RAVENS AND RUINS
San Francisco, California
March 28 – May 18, 2013
Ravens and Ruins presents new paintings and works on paper that consider the trangressive potential of both the natural and imaginary worlds. Through a series of stunning paintings, Waterston utilizes his ethereal aesthetic to depict utopian visions gone awry. A suite of twenty-five gouaches on paper silhouettes from his recent bestiary project reference an animal kingdom unsettled by the volatility of morphing forms. Additionally, collections of curated works on paper are displayed within a vitrine, acting as a conceptual bridge for Waterston’s panel paintings and the bestiary. This vitrine displays a selection of works produced over the past two years, including preparatory sketches for both the exhibited paintings and bestiary works.
This play of beauty and disquiet is echoed in Waterston’s paintings where there is evidence of human life in the fragments of architecture—temples, cathedrals, ziggurats, bridges—that emerge from the organic detritus. Waterston has often engaged with mythological, theological, and natural histories while proposing visual depictions of the ineffable that transcend the picture plane. These scenes evoke places of refuge, offering an escape from the processes of time and mortality. For Waterston, however, utopian potential is untenable as such. With abstracted elements that are both corporeal and celestial, Waterston’s scenes become simultaneously Edenic and dystopian.