Experimenter presents the path-breaking practice of sculptor and printmaker Krishna Reddy (1925 - 2018). Reddy consistently experimented with form, technique and application. Initially trained in Tagore’s Shantiniketan under the tutelage of the influential Ramkinkar Baij, Reddy moved to London in 1949 studying sculpture at Slade School of Fine Art in Henry Moore’s class. Thereafter he spent over two decades in Paris, first at the studio of Ossip Zadkine and then eventually co-directing Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17, which was at the time (1960s), a thriving hub for stalwarts like Joan Miro, Constantin Brancusi, Pablo Picasso, and Alberto Giacometti, with all of whom he closely worked. At Atelier 17, he developed and invented the process that he is most well-known for – simultaneous multicolour viscosity printing and broke new ground in intaglio printmaking.
In collaboration with Hayter, Reddy developed a new technique in multi-colour printing by utilizing variable viscosities of the printing inks. He was able to control the viscosity of the inks by altering the oil consistency in each impression, thereby allowing the inks to occupy different depths without mixing with each other, a process never done before. Using a range of rollers, he pushed the inks to desired parts of the plate, making spectacular unique mono-prints, rich in their textural quality and dimensionality. Reddy constantly pushed the boundaries that were not only confined to the formal process of printmaking but a revolutionary way of thinking on how to develop a new form.
Through the 1960s Reddy travelled the world giving lectures and conducting workshops. After the Paris demonstrations of 1968, he began to spend more time in the US and finally moved to New York in 1976 as Director of Graphics & Printmaking in New York University and went on to teach until retirement dedicating his practice to pedagogy. Reddy’s practice found sanctuary in experimentation with printmaking and sculpture in a lifelong pursuit to understand form.
Krishna Reddy’s continuous exploration of medium that fed into a practice of over seven decades, is presented through a body of multicolour viscosity prints and a rare metal etching plate. Keeping impression-making at the core of his discipline, the presentation draws attention to Krishna Reddy’s pursuit in new ways of seeing his environment and an immersive lifelong practice of activating the sculptural surfaces of his plates. Underpinning his ideas, was a technical knowhow that produced several innovations in the medium Reddy made his own especially in developing and mastering the technique of multicolour viscosity printing and in the process, he experimented with form, technique and application.
Krishna Reddy (b. 1925 Nandanoor, India – d. 2018 New York, USA) trained in sculpture at Kalabhavana, Shantiniketan (1949), followed by Slade School of Art, London (1951). He was co-director of Atelier 17, Paris and the founder of Color Print Atelier, New York. Reddy was director of the Printmaking department at NYU since 1976. Reddy’s work has been shown at numerous exhibitions and print biennales all over the world. Exhibitions include: In Search of Simultaneity, Experimenter, Kolkata; Bauhaus Imaginista, curated by Grant Watson and Marion Von Osten, Tokyo & Kyoto (2018-19), Workshop & Legacy, curated by Navina Najat Haidar, The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York (2016-17). The Embodied Image, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi (2011-12) curated by Roobina Karode. Reddy’s work is in the permanent collections of The Tate Britain London, The Metropolitan Museum of Art & MoMA New York, The Kiran Nadar Museum New Delhi, Cincinnati Art Museum and M+ Museum Hong Kong among others.