Brian Rattiner: Hummingbird
February 13, 2021 - March 20, 2021
David B. Smith Gallery is proud to present Hummingbird, a solo exhibition of new works by Brooklyn-based artist Brian Rattiner.
In his large scale ethereal paintings, subdued jewel-toned color fields float untethered, reaching in wisps over shallow planes. The works comprise a range of materials punctuated with words, symbols, and manifold gestural marks, speaking to Rattiner’s lyrical intuition.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Rattiner’s connection to nature is splendidly nuanced. Originating from a densely populated cityscape, regular trips to his family’s bungalow colony in the Catskills were an essential part of Rattiner’s childhood. Years later, during the tumultuous months of 2020, extended stays at the colony spent connecting with the rhythm of nature and painting to the tune of birdsong have produced a collection of paintings that bound with color and dreamlike energy.
Fleeting moments are recorded onto Rattiner’s sprawling compositions, captured in expeditious movements of the hand or swells of aqueous paint blooms, in some cases recording textures from the crude surface of his transitory outdoor studio. Vaporous, spacious, and accentuated with playful strokes of color, Rattiner’s canvases radiate with an ephemeral sense of the present, as if to capture the pulsing imagery behind one’s eyelids.
Continuing the series into the winter months back in his Brooklyn studio, Rattiner infuses his connection with nature into the works, focusing on celestial elements such as the winter solstice or a snowstorm. Spanning the changing seasons, Rattiner’s work prioritizes beauty, movement, and the poetry of the moment over the harsh realities of loneliness and stillness.
With an adept sensitivity to color, Hummingbird showcases Brian Rattiner’s synesthetic visual vocabulary. At a time when reality itself can feel like an interpretive negotiation, the role of the subconscious and its centrality to the human experience rises to prominence. With inspiration residing in nature’s sense of boundless potential and immeasurable knowledge, Rattiner captures a sense of entropy in his works, but not without a distinctive prismatic optimism.