My medium is wood

I am enamored with its qualities - its colors, grains and textures - and forever challenged by the sculptural possibilities of carving and fabrication. I also like to experiment with combinations of wood and other media, most recently, acrylic.

I believe that my work is essentially form driven and often about “soft” and “hard” visual and tactile shapes. The “soft” shapes are inspired by my earlier work in clay and an ongoing fascinating with biomorphic form. Such shapes evolve naturally when carving.  The “hard” shapes are inspired by an interest in technology and structure. They result when fabricating.

I like to contrast these qualities by using "hard" fabricated sections (sometimes digitally generated) and "softer" carved sections that evolve more randomly through drawing.

The sculptural forms that emerge have intriguing metaphorical connotations. “HARD” seems to signify what is rational, controlled and active, whereas “SOFT” seems to be more about what is emotional, spontaneous, passive and vulnerable.


Carl & Heart Form.jpg


My process involves fabrication and/or carving.

All of my works begin with small sketches that evolve into full scale drawings.  A selected drawing serves as a pattern to cut the basic sculptural form from either a solid block or a laminate.   Carving, rasping and sanding follow.  Works are finished with tung oil or wipe-on polyurethane. 

Each work is equipped with a custom pedestal.

Carl Rattner has exhibited widely in the metropolitan New York area and has received public and private commissions.

His work has been favorably mentioned and/or reviewed by a number of publications, including the New York Times.

He is a retired Art Professor and maintains a studio in Rockland County, New York.