Late artist Krishna Reddy's exhibition at Kolkata's Experimenter gallery is a quest for a new form
A solo exhibition of works by late, highly influential artist Krishna Reddy, spotlights the connection between his drawings, printmaking and sculptural creations
Gallery Experimenter will hold To a New Form, a solo exhibition of the late Indian master printmaker and sculptor Krishna Reddy’s rare drawings, zinc and copper etching plates and corresponding prints. "The exhibition reflects on Reddy’s continuous exploration of form for over seven decades, and draws attention to his pursuit of seeing his environment in a new light and an immersive lifelong practice of drawing and activating the sculptural surfaces of his metal etching plates," says Prateek Raja, co-director of Experimenter gallery.
The late artist drew inspiration from a plethora of experiences and was motivated by several divergent conceptual ideas to develop his own language. He used to draw passionately, which resulted in such structured works but his drawing practices had rately been displayed. The exhibition puts together that deep connection between Reddy’s drawing, printmaking and sculptural practice.
Initially trained in Santiniketan’s Kala Bhavan under the tutelage of the influential sculptor Ramkinkar Baij and eminent painter Nandalal Bose, Reddy moved to London in 1949. There he studied sculpture at Slade School of Fine Art under celebrated sculptor Henry Moore’s tutelage, who is famous for his monumental, semi-abstract sculptures in bronze.
Thereafter, he spent over two decades in Paris, first at the studio of Russian-born sculptor Ossip Zadkine and then eventually directing surrealist English painter and print-maker Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17, which was at the time, a thriving hub for stalwarts like Joan Miro, Constantin Brancusi, Pablo Picasso, and Alberto Giacometti, with all of whom Reddy closely worked. It was at Atelier 17 that he developed and invented the process that he is most well known for – simultaneous multicolour viscosity printing, and broke new grounds in intaglio printmaking.
Over the years Reddy’s influence on generations of artists -- some of whom were his students -- left an indelible impression. Nature particularly fascinated Reddy. Butterflies, trees, waves, spiders’ webs and blossoms were frequent subjects, depicted in dream-like compositions that took their references from abstraction and surrealism. "As the artist constantly pushed the boundaries that were not only confined to the formal process of printmaking but a revolutionary way of looking at his environment, Reddy found sanctuary in experimentation with sculpting, printmaking and drawing in a lifelong pursuit to understand form," avers Prateek.
On view at the exhibition will be a series of Reddy’s well known work, The Great Clown, which showcases his mastery over technique. Combinations of colours were separately applied to the same metal printing etching plate, each paint mixed to a different thickness with linseed oil, so that it did not contaminate the others and resulted in a spectacular range of unique prints, each different from the other.
An overwhelming array of studies and drawings takes centre stage at the exhibition, rooting the practice to repeatedly looking at human form, nature and the relationship between the two, an interest which was developed since his early years in Santiniketan.
There will also be on display a selection of his early prints alongside corresponding etching plates, showing how the deeply engraved surfaces of his plates gave birth to his resplendent prints. In this exhibition, four Great Clown multicolour viscosity paints, six multicolor viscosity prints, six corresponding metal plates and 41 Untitled pen/pencil drawings will be displayed.
(All Pictures credit: Experimenter)
Late artist Krishna Reddy’s solo exhibition, To a New Form, will be on display at Experimenter on Hindustan Road till March 31