Ravinder Reddy | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Ravinder Reddy


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


Blending Indian religious art and popular culture, Ravinder Reddy creates sculptures the New York Times has called "kitsch for the ages." In his first one-person show here, he uses industrial paint on fiberglass to evoke some of the paradoxes of this blending: his six large female heads are imposing, humorous, cheerful--and a bit frightening. Some also echo ancient Egyptian sculpture, and all have a sphinxlike impenetrability. Lakshmi Devi, painted gold, reveals a hint of a smile; the back of her head is covered with a fiberglass rendering of elaborately decorated fabric held in place by netting. Appayamma's red face is a little less cheery; her hair is woven together with fabric and a field of sunflowers. These hairstyles reflect actual ones, connecting the heads to the daily world. Even more fascinating are their eyes, which seem to remove them utterly from the present: the dark pupils stare into the distance with an expressionlessness that suggests the women are either iconically all knowing--or blind. Reddy does a great job of using contradiction to represent today's cultural mix. Walsh, 118 N. Peoria, second floor, through July 11. Hours are 10:30 to 5:30 Tuesday through Saturday; 312-829-3312.

Add a comment