Salon 94 is pleased to present “The Valley is Broken,” a New York debut exhibition of London based painter Richard Wathen. The exhibition will feature two full-length nude portraits, one of a young boy, and the other a girl, paired with a large-scale idyllic landscape painting, a small portrait of a young woman and a self-portrait. Classic, yet arcane, the images invoke the Garden of Eden. Iris (2005) stands with a handful of flowers, while two butterflies and a snail dance at her feet. These scarce landscape elements,floating on the uniform green background, exist in her imagination- a protective landscape, her real space. Erin (2005) too stands within a flat barren space, holding a grey rabbit, a strange, neutral and expressionless pet. The characters in both portraits are lost yet contained in their own worlds, in a state of contemplation. The paintings hold names rather than titles. Who Iris and Erin are, their age, gender, time period, place, remains unanswered. Defying the tradition of the commissioned portrait, these names only hint toward an identity, in its most general terms.