Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Krishna Reddy's Prints Show Glimpses of the "Other" World

Krishna Reddy is an artist without end. What I mean is, he and his work have had a longevity and staying power that has lasted for decades. Reddy, an artist who originated from Andra Pradesh, in southern India, went on to study and work in London, Paris and the US. He has also been awarded with India's highest honor (the highly coveted Padma Shri) which is similar to a knighthood, for excellence in his field. His work has been exhibited internationally and he has traveled the globe as a teacher/guest artist to hundreds of universities and schools. The man can not stop, but the question is who would want him to?

"Butterfly forming" (above) is an example of the type of imagrey one can associate with Reddy's work. His pleasing compositions  of overlapping and integrated biomorphic forms, undulating colors and sumptuous surface are mesmerizing. Reddy's choices to deal with abtracted forms as a metaphor for one's internal struggles with spiritualism, and one's place in the world, isn't exactly a new message - but it is an eternal one.

 His work derives in spirit from the concepts brought about by Abstract Expressionism and Surrealism, but Reddy's work pushes through those ideas and  creates work that weaves its way through art periods and movements. There are visual components that resemble furniture designed by MacIntosh, and enlist the sweeping saga of one of  Joseph W. M. Turner's ship-versus-the-sea paintings. His web-like grids swing and warp out uniformity,  evolving into a visual push-pull and engaging us in the epic tactile battle like one finds in a Hans Hoffmann or Basquiat painting. Similarly his tight, illusionary depth mirrors and surpasses the ideas behind Aaron Siskind's abstract photographs. Truly, they are a sensory overload, but this master knows how and when to titllate and when to release us from his grasp. 

Reddy's work has visual and compositional references to other artists, like the surrealistic, internal mindscapes of Matta, and the linear prowess of Stanley William Hayter; an artist Reddy studied under and worked with at Atelier 17 in Paris. His rich, juicy surfaces propel his prints to rival the textural excessive qualities of painting and even sculpture. His mastery of color is nuanced and boldly applied when wanted,  and he understands well the emotional attachments found therein. The man know what its all about and what's more, he make it all seem so effortless and spontaneous - something we printmakers know is NOT the case with his type of prints and the years' and years' experience it takes to work with his multi-layered methodology.  

I am delighted to have found this artist to present to you, and hope you enjoy his work as much as I do.

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