Brian Rattiner + Keiko Narahashi “I Heard a Wild Flower”

Carvalho Park

poster for Brian Rattiner + Keiko Narahashi “I Heard a Wild Flower”

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CARVALHO PARK presents Heard a Wild Flower, a two-person exhibition featuring New York-based artists Brian Rattiner and Keiko Narahashi, in which the intangible sensations of one’s complex experiences of nature materialize across the gallery. The sublime is distilled. Across Rattiner’s sprawling paintings, paroxysmal but purposeful gestures offer escapism – of the surreal order – while Narahashi’s singular, sculptural forms argue that the most ineffable aspects of nature – those sights, sounds and impressions – have their correlative shapes.


The works seen here originate from two distinct periods, times of profound experimentation and prolific and focused production that draw from their setting – an artist residency in Greece and the other, a studio set on the edge of the wilds of Upstate New York. The paintings pen a love letter to the fine line between the real and the abstract when approached through one’s senses – blended and blurred beyond perceivable distinction. Rattiner acts as conduit, allowing the surrounding environment to guide the work rather than forcing his will upon it; yet he nevertheless imbues his paintings with feeling. Thrumming with poetic potential, marks of color pencil, charcoal, oil pastel, oil stick and marker intermingle with sublime clouds of color, persuading with their vaporous plumes of teal and blush that Rattiner is a supreme colorist.

Over the expanse of vast and full pictorial planes, Rattiner’s dynamic synthesis of scribbles and fluid scrawls release sensory associations of the landscape. At times these lines form something recognizable. One can find motifs of his surrounding terrain, a bat, flower, fig or shooting star, that anchor the painting on the other end of the spectrum from sensation – that of the physical world. One such motif, an owl, is set within a work on the scale of history paintings, measuring over three meters in length. Aptly titled The Owl, the painting gives the viewer the visual pleasure of navigating a heroic breadth rife with swirling and emotive swaths. Rattiner renders the outside as night, where you can find the owl. The interior space is the glowing yellow of day.


As the eye travels across the gallery, attention is harnessed to a focused stop on Narahashi’s sculptures, arranged on pedestals around the space, like punctuation against surrounding prose. In a singular form is the sense that something so large and boundless, has been distilled. At once declarative and ambiguous, the objects spring from a conviction that an abstracted form can be imbued with emotional and psychological meaning, which can then be intuited by its viewer. The work is also suffused with the artist’s own memories, whether real or imagined. There is no vision that so succinctly intersects with and elucidates Narahashi’s work as that below, as recalled by the artist ::

Once, I saw a butterfly sunning on a stone step, its wings open like a face. As I watched, it slowly folded its wings until only a thin, black line remained.

Strange, even fantastical, are the sculptures’ simplicity of form, their language, and inherent logic, but the same can be said of nature. Paradigmatic shapes, such as circles and teardrops, materialize from the artist drawing cut-lines directly into slabs of clay that recall cut tree trunks found in a forest – a sign of human intervention in nature – or the illuminated disc of the moon. Although Narahashi makes three-dimensional sculptures, she thinks in picture planes. A convergence of landscape and still-life, a glazed ceramic plane is perpendicularly joined to another. The primary face stands vertically, propped up and with its pronounced presence, invites the outside world’s ruminations.

Brian Rattiner (b. 1982, Brooklyn, New York) received his BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). His work has been shown at Ortega y Gasset Projects and Transmitter Gallery in Brooklyn, New York, at Susan Eley Fine Art and the Leroy Neiman Gallery at Columbia University, in New York City. International exhibitions include those at Le Coeur project space in Paris, France, and at Anna Nova Gallery and Triumph Gallery in Moscow, Russia. Rattiner’s work has been selected for multiple juried exhibitions curated by Kate Mothes, founder of the influential platform YngSpace, with guest curator David B. Smith. He has conducted residencies with the Skopelos Foundation for the Arts in Greece; the Fundación Valparaiso in Mojácar, Spain; with curator Laure Le Baron in Collongues, France; and Alone in the Woods in Lincolnville, Maine. Rattiner lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Keiko Narahashi (b. 1959, Tokyo, Japan) received an MFA in Painting from Bard College, Annandale-On-Hudson, New York and her BFA from Parsons School of Design, Brooklyn, New York. Institutional exhibitions include those at the Art Institute of Chicago; Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York; Sheppard Contemporary Gallery, University of Nevada, Reno; Kuhn Fine Arts Gallery, Ohio State University, Marion; The College Art Gallery, The College of New Jersey; Educational Alliance, New York; Dumbo Arts Center, New York; Dallas Center of Contemporary Art, Texas; Visceglia Gallery, Caldwell College, New Jersey; Korean Cultural Center, Los Angeles; Bard College; Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York; and Usdan Gallery at Bennington College, Vermont. The Whitney Museum of American Art holds an editioned work by Narahashi in its permanent collection. In the gallery realm, Narahashi’s work has been featured in exhibitions at David B. Smith, Denver; Jason McCoy gallery, New York; Assembly Room, New York; Lesley Heller Workspace, New York; 106 Green, Brooklyn; Kate Werble Gallery, New York; A.I.R. gallery, Brooklyn; and Lehmann Maupin, New York, among others. She is the recipient of Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation studio grant and a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) grant in painting. Reviews include those in The New Yorker, Artnet, Hyperallergic, The Brooklyn Rail and The New York Times



from September 10, 2020 to October 10, 2020

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