Within and Without: Katrin Fridriks’ Abstract Expressionist Works Explode Across the Canvas

In works by Icelandic artist Katrin Fridriks, slashes of paint appear to flail, captured in wild, exploding forms. Feverish splashes, stripes, and pools of color activate the picture plane, in a style that might be considered a contemporary twist on Abstract Expressionism. In her works, paint maintains a liquid-like viscosity, applied in dynamic swirls and splatters. Her most recent series—on view now at Lazarides in “Flying Awareness”—explores the dynamic between landscape, process, speed, and color.

To say that Fridriks’ paintings manifest movement is an understatement. In her energetic painting Uncoded Nature&Land, it almost seems as if two combusted hemispheres were converging into one; large tendrils of paint extend in ribbons of yellow, black, red, white, and blue from a core at the center of the painting, set against a neutral ground. For the artist, these abstractions reference her homeland, as well as studies in genetics and the deluge of the information age. Another of the artist’s multi-layered canvases, Dronefly Messenger, may make reference to the current proliferation of personal drones, as well as the aerial images they recall. Layers of paint are marbled onto a circular canvas and contained within its bounds; the end result resembles a topographical map. In this sense, through playing with spatial relationships, riots of color, and fantastic networks of strategic drips, Fridriks investigates the dichotomy between macro and micro, and the relationship between the world at large, and the one that stems from her paintbrushes.

Haniya Rae

Katrin Fridriks: Flying Awareness” is on view at Lazarides, London, Jun 26–Jul 23, 2014.

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