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Keiko Narahashi, picturehood

Hudson Franklin Gallery
508 West 26th Street, Suite 318, 212-741-1189
April 23 - June 13, 2009
Reception: Thursday, April 23, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Hudson Franklin is pleased to announce “picturehood”, a solo exhibition by Keiko Narahashi.

As the title of her exhibition suggests, Keiko Narahashi presents artworks created from her ruminations about the essential nature of pictures. Her practice has incrementally migrated from the two-dimensional (painting on traditional canvases) to the three-dimensional (free-standing sculptures). In between she experimented with oddly shaped Polystyrene forms as supports that she covered in canvas or other fabrics on which to paint. Her interest in how the supports influenced the painted image gave way to a predominant interest in the supports as objects themselves. Within the last year, Narahashi added clay to her practice and a toggling between the two-dimensional and the three-dimensional resurfaced.

Narahashi began hand-building simple objects (vases, bottles) that she has described as “orphan objects” because they are not solely functional or completely sculptural. Led by clay’s malleability, she then flattened the objects. Some of them mimic found objects (a child’s chair and shoe), and some are literal patterns of objects laid flat. The cartoonish results often resemble comic accidents. Deliberately keeping herself off balance with the new medium, Narahashi continued to ask herself a handful of questions: Does flattening a three-dimensional object take it back to being a picture? Does the flattening change the meaning of the object? What constitutes pictorial experience?

In addition to these ceramic objects, the exhibition also includes abstract ceramic works and sculptures using materials more familiar to earlier constructions ­ Polystyrene, papier mâché, furniture parts, and found objects. Connecting all of the works is Narahashi’s need for immediacy with materials, her use of the accidental both in and out of the kiln, and an overall primacy of play.

Keiko Narahashi received an M.F.A. from Bard College. Her work has most recently been seen in group exhibitions at Heskin Contemporary, New York, and at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, Brooklyn. This is the artist’s second solo exhibition with Hudson Franklin.
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