Sophia Narrett: Certain Magic


May 12 - June 17, 2018

Tue - Sat, 10am-6pm; Sun, 12-6pm; Closed Mondays


FREE Admission


Project Room at BRIC House
647 Fulton Street
(Enter on Rockwell Place)
Brooklyn, NY 11217
United States
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Sophia Narrett, Right Before (detail), 2017-18


ON VIEW: Through June 17, 2018

Sophia Narrett creates complex embroideries that express the power of intimacy and desire in the digital age. By casting figures sourced from the Internet into carefully embroidered scenes, she responds to a world of immediate, often treacherous media with an idiosyncratic fantasy. Through undulating embroidered surfaces, and edges that dissolve into loose threads or sculptural flora, Certain Magic tells a disconcerting narrative of modern longing that layers the surreal with the mundane. In the exhibition, chemistry, romance, and perhaps delusion, transform backyards and living rooms into sites for magic and escapism.

Narrett’s vignettes include exhibitionism, voyeurism, flirtation and play. Here, romance is transcendent, an escape from tragedy, isolation, and even boredom. Yet it is also tied to those moments when excitement borders on toxicity, or play bleeds into manipulation, and when the inherent danger of power exchange (real or imagined) comes to light.

While her pieces exceed the traditional parameters of embroidery, the historical associations of the medium are crucial to its content. In a recent T: The New York Times Style Magazine article Narrett said, “Embroidery and its implicit history help specify the tone of my stories, one characterized by obsession, desire and both the freedoms and restraints of femininity.”

Narrett’s dreamlike visions can strike a humorous note—a nude woman plays on a tire in a backyard or a t-shirt proclaims “See You in Hell.” The decadence escalates in her largest work to date, Right Before. A woman perches on man’s shoulder as they descend a spiral staircase towards a bacchanalia. Various figures, ranging from menacing to mischievous, are choreographed throughout the work to build a spatially unfolding story of indulgence and connection. Despite elements of the chaotic and the fantastic, the work remains sincere, a quality built through the composition and the slow, tactile nature of embroidery.

Sophia Narrett’s work has been shown at BRIC and 315 Gallery in Brooklyn; the Museum of Sex, Freight + Volume, SPRING/BREAK Art Show, and Nancy Margolis Gallery, all in NY; Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton, NJ; Lux Art Institute, Encinitas, CA; and Museum Rijswijk, Holland. Her past residencies include those at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME; the Museum of Arts and Design, NY; and the Lux Art Institute, Encinitas, CA. She is a 2018 recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. She holds a BA in Visual Arts from Brown University and a MFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design, both in Providence, RI.


Sophia Narrett is a 2017-18 recipient of the ArtFP, an open call for Brooklyn-based visual artists to exhibit at BRIC House. For more information, visit

Curated by Jenny Gerow, Assistant Curator

Venue Information:

The Project Room, located adjacent to the Gallery in BRIC House is an added resource for video work, BRIC's emerging curator program, small-scale exhibitions and experimental curatorial projects. 

Beginning Nov. 1, 2022, attendees of any BRIC House programming will no longer have to show proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter the building. Masks are encouraged but not required in all BRIC operated spaces. If you have questions regarding this protocol, please email For our full BRIC House COVID-19 policy, visit: