Walsh Gallery

Reddy / Koch / Benjamin

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Dates: May 2 2003 - Jul 11 2003

Opening Reception: May 2 2003

Chicago, Illinois;

Ravinder Reddy: One of India's foremost contemporary sculptors will exhibit his monumental works at Walsh Gallery from May 2 - July 11. Mr. Reddy will come to Chicago for the opening reception on Friday, May 2nd from 7-9 pm.

Mr. Reddy chooses as his subjects contemporary Indian women, whom he transforms through sculpture into a kind of semi-deity, figures at once larger than life and unpretentious, both distant and approachable. He uses unabashed frontal nudity and directness of gaze to create a confident sensuality in these everyday goddesses. Mr. Reddy's series of heads have less to do with stereotypical ideas of beauty, and more to do with an ageless celebration of a woman's endurance and fecundity. His sculptures refer to a variety of influences ranging from Egyptian and Greek sculpture to religious kitsch items found in Indian street culture. He is a master of blurring the distinctions between reality and fantasy.

In an October 2001 New York Times review Holland Cotter called Mr. Reddy's work "A heroic art with a common touch: kitsch for the ages."

Mr. Reddy's sculptures are first formed as small clay models, which are then used to make plaster molds for the finished polyester resin fiberglass piece. The sculptures are finished with a combination of car paint and gold or copper leaf. Mr. Reddy's choice of materials at once reaffirms his connection to traditional Indian sculptural techniques while using entirely modern resources.

Mr. Reddy was born in India in 1956. After graduating from M.S. University, Baroda, in 1982, Reddy spent 1983-84 in London at the Goldsmith College of Art and Royal College of Art. He lives and works in Andhra Pradesh state, near Visakaputnam, in southeastern India.

His 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 in 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 Institution, the Peabody Essex Museum, and the Queensland Art Gallery.

GALLERY I : LEWIS KOCH, photography

MAY 30 - JULY 11

opening reception: June 6, 5-9 pm

Artist will be present.

Visual artist Lewis Koch debuts photo-text pairings from a sojourn to northern India. After living in the Tibetan community near Dharamsala, he created this series based on his time there and elsewhere in northern India. Mr. Koch pairs documentary-style photography with photographs of text pages excerpted from traditional and contemporary sources. The pairings are presented as diptychs so that both photograph and text can be seen as equals.

The creation of these photo/text pairings was made to create a dialogue and push the boundaries of what visual imagery can be. They are meant to be "a contemplative approach, a meditation, one that goes beyond the specific quality of visual insight or written word." Mr. Koch's text photos are from a variety of sources ranging from traditional and contemporary Indian writings to advertising.

Mr. Koch has worked in photography for the past 25 years. His work has been shown in London, Rotterdam, New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere, and has been collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of European Photography, Paris; Staatsgalerie Stuttgart; Museum of Kunst and Gewerbe, Hamburg; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.