Walsh Gallery

Reddy / Khurana / Servoss / Johnson / Kommanivanh: Body Perfect

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Dates: Apr 29 2005 - May 28 2005

Opening Reception: Apr 29 2005

Chicago, Illinois; The "Body Perfect" lost and found at Walsh Gallery

"Body Perfect" is a group show that explores how artists use the body as a vehicle for inspiration. The show looks at how artists use the body as a symbol for everything from spiritual enlightenment to extreme estrangement from society. Many of the artists will be present at the opening reception.

Ravinder Reddy's monumental-scaled heads and a life-size figure piece will be on display in the main gallery. His works are made of polyester resin fiberglass and goldleaf. Inspired by both Egyptian and African art, Mr. Reddy has always been interested in pursuing and expressing that which remains enduring and timeless in art. His sculptures reflect the inner strength and power of women. He deifies not the timeless myth of beauty, but contemporary goddesses who walk the streets of India. In

women whose unique fortitude creates the body perfect, Mr. Reddy finds his muse. Mr. Reddy lives in India and will be coming for the opening reception.

Ravinder Reddy's work has been included in important exhibitions in Asia, Europe and Australia. In 1996 he was in the influential "Traditions/Tensions" exhibition at the Asia Society in New York. In 2001 the Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh) held a solo exhibition of his work. His work has been collected by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art at the Smithsonian Institute, the Peabody Essex Museum, and the Queensland Art Gallery (Brisbane). His work is currently included in the exhibition "About Beauty" at the House of World Cultures (Berlin).

In the project rooms, there will be two short films by Sonia Khurana entitled "Bird" and "Closet". In her film "Bird", the artist, a heavy-set, curvaceous nude woman, tries to make bird-like gestures. However the film is shot with an often unstable handheld camera, so what should appear as graceful flappings often takes on a tragic/comic feeling. As art historian Leon Wainwright says, "bird is about being a body. It is about an encounter with failed flight. It is an investigation of two kinds of limitations: the body confronting its own flesh and the forces of gravity, and a discrete questioning of accounts of the body which overlook sexual difference." Ms. Khurana's sequel, "Closet" is a poignant look at a woman who goes through the motions of trying to figure out what to wear and changing her mind. It quickly enters into a realm of neurosis and obsession through a series of finely edited cuts and motion shifts.

Sonia Khurana currently lives in New Delhi. She received her M.A. in 1999 from the Royal College of Art (London). Ms. Khurana has done residencies at both the Ecole des Beaux Arts (Paris) and the Rijksakademie VanBeeldende Kunsten (Amsterdam). Her work has shown in many museums including the House of World Cultures (Berlin), the Fukuoka Museum of Asian Art (Japan), the National Gallery of Modern Art (India), and the Culturgest Museum (Portugal). Her films have been seen in film festivals around the world and her work was included this year in the Busan Biennale (South Korea). Ms. Khurana,s work is currently at the Queens Museum of Art (New York) in "Edge of Desire."

Indira Freitas-Johnson has created a sculpture of a large-scale foot. Here is a "perfect" foot representing the path towards many things, whether it is the enlightenment obtained by the Buddha or the path of truth (Satyagraha) in Hinduism. Gandhi popularized this concept when he used to say "I,m following the path of Satyagraha." The word "Satyagraha" has been carved into the large-scale foot sculpture. As Ms. Freitas-Johnson says, "The foot represents our being rooted to the earth. It is a symbol for the path we are each following." Ms. Freitas-Johnson lives in Chicago and will be present at the opening reception. She has recently exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), New Museum of Art (New York), the Museum of Contemporary Art (New Orleans), and the Prince of Whales Museum (Bombay). She is currently in the exhibition "Fatal Love" at the Queens Museum (New York.)

There is a child's game in which a fragmented image forms the pieces of a puzzle. New York artist David Servoss reexamines this game in a large-scale lenticular (holographic) image of his body underwater. He has fragmented his body into 64 separate 3D pieces, measuring a total of 84 inches by 27 inches. In the center is a blank space where a piece is missing. The viewer can rearrange his body pieces or try to arrange them back into the original form. We in part form our self concepts based on other people's perception of who we are. This game is a fascinating physical manifestation of this concept. In Mr. Servoss's work, the body perfect can only be achieved in someone else's eyes. Mr. Servoss will be present at the opening reception.

"Body Perfect" will also include new paintings by Von Kommanivanh. Mr. Kommanivanh is a former graffiti and tattoo artist who turned to fine art because he wanted more freedom of expression. In his painting "Invasion", there is a row of chicken feet, and circular graffiti-like marks that divide the space into 3 levels. At the bottom left corner is a pair of gessoed white high tops with white rat tails coming out of the shoes. While Indira's foot is about rootedness to the earth, Mr. Kommanivanh's is about being stepped on. Two artists explore a body part, but the foot takes on a totally different set of meaning for them. Mr. Kommanivanh will be present at the opening reception.

Both David Servoss and Von Kommanivanh will also be exhibiting installations in the NOVA Young Art Fair special project spaces April 28 - May 1. (840 W. Washington)