As a viewer, Krishna Reddy’s prints are extremely demanding; he presents us with puzzling images that defy all understanding of convention and expression. When looking at his strange pieces, it is difficult to know exactly what we are seeing or supposed to see. For this very reason, he allows us to see something utterly unique.
Krishna Reddy (1925 – 2018) was born into a family of farmers in a small village near Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh. He studied art at Visva-Bharati University’s Kala Bhavana (Institute of Fine Arts) and subsequently served as the head of the art section at Kalakshetra Foundation. As his interest in painting and sculpture grew, he decided to move to London and then onward to Paris and Milan.
From He also served as the associate director at Atelier 17, a vibrant art school and studio founded in 1927 by Stanley William Hayter, and frequented by illustrious artists including Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso. It is here that he created some of his most striking and esoteric works that form his legacy today.
Using the viscosity and texture of different types of ink, Reddy developed innovative methods of superimposition in his printmaking. The results are striking and surreal. Most of his creations are abstract, leading critics to conclude that his printmaking was a reflection of internal philosophical interrogations. It is not surprising to learn therefore, that Jiddu Krishnamurti’s teachings wielded a strong spiritual and intellectual influence on his life.
His philosophy, in his own words, is summarized thus, “Our senses bring knowledge that leads to memory and then to ideas and ideals, that begin a life of their own. Thought is the activity of knowledge, of memory, of ideas, conclusions and beliefs forming our consciousness.”
To engage with Reddy’s art then is to break the confines of reality and grapple with conceptions of time, sense and memory.
All Images: Hilo Art Department, University of Hawaii