For our first exhibition of 2023, the Ravestijn Gallery is proud to present The Constellation – a dizzying show of vibrant works by South African artist Nico Krijno (b. 1981). In a riot of colours and meandering forms, Krijno’s abstract works consider and apply photography’s many visual codes, symbols and patterns – as part of a bid to investigate the history of the image. The playful practice of performance defines Krijno’s process throughout, inviting a closer interrogation of modes of creation in and of themselves.
From staged photography to collage and video works, the densely-textured images that Krijno conceives are invariably hard to pin down. Synthetic, layered, digitally-manipulated, painterly, puzzling, enthralling; each one is unfixed and seemingly infinite, with a number focal points to absorb simultaneously. In the act of looking, the familiar traces – those things we recognise – are displaced and buried under elements we don’t. All the while, we rarely look away, succumbing instead to the works’ many mysteries.
In The Constellation, the latest chapter in Krijno’s continuous flow of obsessive image-making, a series of motifs bleed between the featured works, from multi-coloured polkadots to vanishing still-lifes, from warped sculptures to the characteristic lines of spray-painted graffiti. Combining wall-mounted works with a series of imposing paper poster rolls – cascading down from the gallery’s ceilings – the exhibition underlines the effect of Krijno’s oscillating images: a disorientating outpouring with no logical beginning or end. Spliced and stacked, fragments blend into other fragments – like the rippling screen of an old TV-set locked between competing frequencies.
The exhibition, which opens on January 21, 2023, coincides with the launch of the artist’s new publication, Collages 2020-2022, published by Art Paper Editions. The book will be available at the gallery.