Darren Almond

(British, b.1971)


In the work of Young British Artist (YBA) Darren Almond, the ‘in-between’ moments of everyday life are revealed as having their own particular atmosphere and meaning. Renowned for his innovative use of video technology, Almond employs both image and sound to involve the viewer in an intensified experience of time. His approach is not confrontational, but rather depends on restraint and understatement to achieve its effect. As Martin Herbert writes, ‘There is a muteness about Almond’s art, about the way he approaches his materials, which, paradoxically, speaks volumes’. A fervent admirer of 17th Century Dutch painter Jan Vermeer, Almond creates images and scenarios that establish a similar play between stillness and change, the banal and the theatrical. 

Childhood escapism for Almond came in the form of the commonly derided hobby of train-spotting. This early immersion in a world of clocks and timetables encouraged him to infuse an essentially sculptural sensibility with a heightened awareness of boredom, suspense, anxiety and all those other things that one may feel while waiting for something to happen. A real-time piece (1995) was a wall-sized projection of the artist’s empty studio, transmitted live via satellite to a space on the other side of town. In HMP Pentonville (1997) he applied a similar strategy to a prison cell. In the former work, the only audible sound was the regular snap of a large flip-clock; in the latter, it was the ceaseless racket of prison life. 

In order to shoot Geisterbahn (1999), Almond attached a camera to the front of an old ghost train carriage at a fairground in Vienna, Austria, placing the lens inside a skull’s eye socket. To the accompaniment of German DJ Stefan Betke’s seductive techno soundtrack, we experience the tacky thrills of the ride in glimmering black and white. What was merely gaudy and obviously fake has been made into something dreamlike and lyrical. An earlier train film featured the famous inverted monorail in Wuppertal, Germany, and a future addition to the series will be set in a Russian coalmine. ‘I can’t make films in England because I just know the place too well’, says Almond. ‘I like to get myself into a situation where I’m vulnerable and open because then my observation is sharper.’ 

Perhaps Almond’s darkest work to date is Oswiecim, March 1997 (1997), which consists of two 8mm films of bus stops in the small Polish town of the title, projected side by side. One of these stops is crowded with visitors from the Auschwitz concentration camp museum, the other with commuters bound further afield. One group has traveled specially to Oswiecim, and are now leaving after having experienced the profound horrors documented by the museum. The other group consists of locals on their daily journeys, who no doubt try every day to forget the camp and its history. The slowed-down, grainy quality of the film seems to make their wait all the more agonizing, a process as poignant as the artist’s conflicting concerns in this work: his generational alienation from the subject of the war and his personal desire to find a way of re-engaging with it. 

Traction (1999), a three-part video installation commissioned by the Renaissance Society, Chicago and featuring the artists’ parents, saw Almond make use of overtly autobiographical source material for the first time. The 28-minute sequence features, on one screen, Almond’s father talking about various physical injuries he has received in the course of his working life and, on another, his mother’s emotional reactions. The central screen shows a mechanical digger at a construction site, a scene-setting device and succinct metaphor for the unearthing of stories. The work is both a portrait of the artist’s family – he has expressed a fascination with paintings by Pieter de Hooch, another 17th Century Dutch artist, that fulfill a comparable role – and a moving essay on human frailty. In respect of Traction, Almond has spoken of ‘the vulnerability of your body . the vulnerability of love . and the vulnerability of yourself against time’. These last words perhaps reveal the key to all of Almond’s output.


Moscow Biennale, Former Lenin Museum, Moscow, February – March 

Salamanca, Domus Atrium, Darren Almond: If I had you, June – September 
Shoot the Family, Knoxville Museum of Art, Tennessee, June – September 
Western Gallery, Western Washington University, Bellingham, October – December 
Caspar David Friedrich: Inventing Romanticism, Hamburger Kunsthalle, October – January 2007 
Darren Almond, Museum Folkwang, Essen, October – January 2007 

Darren Almond, Turner Prize Exhibition, Tate Britain London, October 2005 – January 2006 
Darren Almond, Chantal Crousel Gallery, Paris, November 2005 – January 2006 
Darren Almond, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York 
Isolation, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21, Dusseldorf, Germany 

Darren Almond: Live Sentence, Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz, Linz 
Darren Almond: If I Had You, Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin 

If I Had You, Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan 
Darren Almond: Mine, A, Galleri K, Oslo, Norway 
Darren Almond: Full Moon, Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, Israel 
11 miles……from Safety, Jay Jopling/White Cube, London 

A, (commissioned by Public Art Development Trust), National Theatre, London 
At Speed, Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin 

Coming Up For Air, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York 
Kunsthalle, Zurich (catalogue) 
Darren Almond: Night as Day, Tate Britain, London (catalogue) 
De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam 
Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin 

Darren Almond: Mean Time, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York 
The Approach, London 
Darren Almond: Traction, Chisenhale Gallery, London 

Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin 
The Renaissance Society, The University of Chicago 

Institute of Contemporary Arts, (commissioned by Toshiba Art & Innovation Commission), London 
Jay Jopling/White Cube, London 

KN120, Great Western Studios, London 

Crawford Art College, Cork, Ireland


En Attente, Casino Luxembourg, Luxembourg 16 July – 18 September 
Bidibidobidiboo. La Collezione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Palazzo Re Rebaudengo, Piazza del Municipio, Guarene d’Alba, 28 May – 02 October 
Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, 01 June – 03 July 
The Mind is a Horse Part II, Bloomberg Space, London, 25 May – 09 July 
Getting Emotional, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Boston, 18 May – 05 September 

Eclipse: Towards the edge of the visible, White Cube, London 

Video Acts: Single Channel Video Works from the Collections of Pamela and Richard Kramlich and the New Art Trust, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York 
Sculpture: Darren Almond, Peter Fischli David Weiss, Katharina Fritsch, Robert Gober, Donald Judd, Ellsworth Kelly, Ugo Rondinone, Tony Smith, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York 
Hot Summer in the City, Sean Kelly Gallery, New York 
In Light: Video Projections by Eight Artists, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada 
Breathing the Water, Galerie Hauser& Wirth & Presenhuber, Zurich 
Witness, Barbican Art Gallery, The Curve Gallery, London 
Melodrama, MARCO, Vigo, Spain 
Venice Biennale, Venice 

Fourth Wall, Public Art Development Trust Film Commission, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; Traveled to Yorkshire Sculpture Park, England 
Melodrama, Artium, Centro-Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporaneo, Vitoria-Gasteiz; Traveled to Centro Jose Guerrero, Granada (catalogue) 
Happy Outsiders from London and Scotland, Zacheta Gallery, Warsaw; Traveled to Katowice, Poland 
Put in Context, Kunstverein Hamburg 
Presentness is Grace – Experiencing the Suspended Moment, Spacex Gallery, Exeter, England 
In the Freud Museum, Freud Museum, London 

Kunstsammlung im Standehaus, Dusseldorf 
Casino 2001, SMAK and Bijlokenmuseum, Ghent (catalogue) 
Tracking, Logan Galleries, CCAC, San Francisco 
Making Time, Armand Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles 
Deliberate Living, Greene Naftali Gallery, New York 
Nature in Photography, Galerie Nachst St. Stephan, Vienna 
Tenth Anniversary Exhibition, 100 Drawings and Photographs, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York (catalogue) 

Geographies (Darren Almond, Graham Gussin, Anri Sala), Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris 
Making Time: Considering Time as a Material in Contemporary Video and Film, Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, Florida 
Apocalypse: Beauty and Horror in Contemporary Art, Royal Academy of Arts, London (catalogue) 
Diary, Cornerhouse, Manchester 
Out There, White Cube 2, London 
Inverse Perspectives, Edsvik, Sollentuna, Sweden 

Sleeping Waters, Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris 
Chronos & Kairos, Museum Fridericianum Kassel, Germany 
Seeing Time, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 
So Far Away, So Close, Encore…, Bruxelles Espace Meridien, Brussels 
Concrete Ashtray, Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York 
Common People, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaundengo, Turin, Italy 

UK Maximum Diversity, Galerie Krinzinger, Benger Fabrik Bregenz, Austria 
View Four, Mary Boone Gallery, New York 
Hidden Desires and Images, Art Dynamics, Tayayo Lida, Tokyo 
Ray Rapp, Tz’Art & Co., New York 
Art Crash, Arhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark 

A Print Portfolio from London (Ridinghouse/Booth Clibborn Editions), Atle Gerhardsen, Oslo 
Delta, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris 
Hospital, Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin 
Sensation. Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, London; Traveled to Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin; and Brooklyn Museum of Art (catalogue) 

Art & Innovation Prize, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (winner) 
Something Else, Exmouth Market, London 
A Small Shifting Sphere of Serious Culture, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London 

Group Exhibition, Winchester Gallery, England 

Group Exhibition, Southampton Quays, England


Price, Matt. “Spotlight: Darren Almond.” Flash Art (January/February):107. 

Falconer, Morgan. “Darren Almond.” Art Monthly (June): 27-8. 
Gray, Louise. “Video Acts.” Art Review (February): 81, 83. 
Herbert, Martin. “Northern Exposures.” Art Review (May): 76-7. 
Menin, Samuele and Valentina Sansone, eds. “Focus Video and Film: Contemporary Video Art (Part II).”Flash Art (March/April): 92-99. 
Rapelli, Roberta. “A Munster arte, ambiente e societa.” Arte (August): 90. 

Barnes, Brad, ed. “Until 2041A & Until 2041B.” Kulturflash, no. 19, 15 October 
Lutticken, Sven. “Casino 2001.” Artforum (April): 145. 
Prince, Mark. “Painting and Photography.” Art Monthly (October): 1-5. 
Safe, Emma. “Presentness Is Grace: Experiencing the Suspended Moment.” Art Monthly (February): 24-5. 
Slyce, John. “Darren Almond: Transport Medium.” Flash Art (January/February): 70-4. 
Stech, Fabian. “Casino 2001: die erste Quadriennale in Gent.” Kunstforum International (April/May): 420-2. 

Berwick, Carly. “Voyeurschism.” Artbyte (March/April): 42-51. 
Bos, Siskia. “No fruit salad method.” Interview by Ossian Ward. Art Newspaper (April): 18. 
Burton, Jonathan. “Darren Almond: Coming Up For Air.” Time Out New York, 18-25 October. 
Chambers, Christopher. “Darren Almond: Matthew Marks.” Flash Art (January/February): 115-6. 
Herbert, Martin. “Darren Almond.” Tema Celeste, no. 86: 82. 
Irving, Mark. “An Alternative Way of Seeing.” London Independent on Sunday, 02 September. 
Jones, Jonathan. “Darren Almond.” London Guardian, 10 September. 
Kent, Sarah. “Darren Almond.” Time Out London, 17 October. 
Lampert, Catherine. “Auerbach: Wind of Time.” Royal Academy Magazine (Autumn): 52-3. 
Marcelis, Bernard. “Berlin: 2e Biennale.” Art Press (July/August): 74-6. 
Muller, Silke. “Berlin Biennale: ‘Energie geben statt provozieren.’” ART: das Kunstmagazin (April): 78-83. 
Noble, Laura. “A Century in the Wilderness.” Image (October): 4-7. 
O’Connell, Alex. “Fifteen Minutes of Frame.” London Times, 05 September. 
Pointon, Kate. “Turner Revisited.” Image (October): 14-15. 
Rosenberg, Angela. “Berlin Biennial.” Flash Art (July-September): 116. 
Schmitz, Edgar. “Apocalypse: Beauty and Horror in Contemporary Art.” Kunstforum International (January-March): 413-5. 
Sorbello, Marina. “Max Hetzler.” Art Newspaper (September): 40. 
Vahland, Kia. “Junge Kunst zwischen Sex, Leben und Video.” ART: das Kunstmagazin (June): 88. 
Wahjudi, Claudia. “2. Berlin Biennale.” Kunstforum International (June/July): 300-29. 
Wilson, Michael. “New York Round-Up.” Art Monthly (November): 40-3. 

Avgikos, Jan. “Darren Almond.” Artforum (December): 145-6. 
Birnbaum, Daniel. “Openings: Darren Almond.” Artforum (January): 102-103. 
Durden, Mark. “Diary.” Art Monthly (March): 37-8. 
Grabner, Michelle. “Darren Almond at the Renaissance Society, Chicago.” Art/Text (November 1999 – January 2000). 
Muller, Silke. “Vom Gefuhlskarussel ins Fegefeuer.” ART: das Kunstmagazin (December): 87. 
Parfrey, Adam. “Four Artists of the Apocalypse.” Art Review (September): 26-9. 
Shone, Richard. “ ‘Ant Noises’ and ‘Outthere.’” Burlington Magazine 142 (July):455-6. 
Slyce, John. “Darren Almond.” Flash Art (Summer): 116. 
Smith, Roberta. “Darren Almond.” New York Times, 20 October. 
Schwabsky, Barry. “Darren Almond.” Artforum (September 2000): 185-6. 
Villette, Agnes. “Apocalypse: au seuil d’un nouveau monde.” Beaux Arts Magazine (November): 45 
Wilson, Michael. “Shop front.” Art Monthly (June): 7-10. 

Artner, Alan. “Time passes slowly, noisily towards death.” Chicago Tribune, 17 June. 
Grabner, Michelle. “Darren Almond.” Art/Text (November 1999/January 2000): 88. 
Herbert, Martin. “Darren Almond.” Camera Austria, no.67: 38-49. 
Schenk-Sorge, Jutta. “Darren Almond.” Kunstforum International (December 1999/ January 2000): 314-15. 

Bush, Kate. “Doing Time.” Frieze (September/October): 72-75. 

Alvarez, Maria. “An artist whose work is Industrial-Strength.” Telegraph Magazine (February). 
Herbert, Martin. “Doing Time.” Dazed & Confused, no. 29: 80-8. 
Kent, Sarah. Time Out London, 26 February- 5 March, 80. 
Slyce, John. “Sensation.” Flash Art (November/December): 106-7. 
Williams, Gilda. “Darren Almond at the ICA.” Art in America (December). 
Williams, Gilda. “Darren Almond.” Art & Text (Summer): 99-100. 

Selected Catalogues 

Dewey, Alice, ed. New: Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary British Art. Edinburgh: Trustees of the National Galleries of Scotland, 2002. 
Morawinska, Agnieszka, Magda Kardasz, Heather Galbraith, and Rob Tufnell. Szczesliwi outsiderzy z Londynu i Szkocji/Happy outsiders from London and Scotland. Warsaw: Zacheta Panstwowa Galeria Sztuki; London: The British Council, 2002. 

Wagstaff, Sheena and Peter Wollen. Darren Almond: Night as Day [Exhibition Brochure]. London: Tate Gallery Publishing, 2001. 
Walker, Hamza and Martin Herbert. Darren Almond. Zurich: Kunsthalle Zurich, 2001. 

Cappellazzo, Amy and Peter Wollen. Making Time: Considering Time as a Material in Contemporary Video & Film. Palm Beach: Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, 2000. 
Godfrey, Tony. Diary. Manchester: Cornerhouse, 2000. 
Rosenthal, Norman, et. al. Apocalypse. London: Royal Academy of Arts; Thames & Hudson, 2000 

Bonami, Francesco. Common People. Arte Inglese Tra Fenomeno e Realta. Turin: Fondazione Sandretto re Rebaudengo per L’Arte, 1999. 
Glaser, Martin and René Block. Chronos & Kairos. Kassel: Museum Fridericianum,1999. 
Ross, David, Robert Riley, Marita Sturken, and Chrisse Iles. Seeing Time: Selections from the Pamela and Richard Kramlich Collection. San Francisco: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1999. 
Tarantino, Michael. So Far Away So Close. Brussels: Espace Méridien, 1999. 

Muller, Brian. UK Maximum Diversity. Wien: Galerie Krinzinger, 1998. 

Bonami, Francesco. Delta. Paris: Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 1997. 
Morris, Delta. Hospital. Berlin: Galerie Max Hetzler, 1997. 
Rosenthal, Norman, Richard Shone, Martin Malony, and Lisa Jardin. Sensation: Young Brtish Artists from the Saatchi Collection. London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1997. 


This is Modern Art (Presented by Matthew Collins). Oxford Television Company Production for Channel Four, June / July 1999.