Katrin Fridriks: rivers of color

A disruptive force made of chromatic shades, an explosion of colors sometimes in contrast, movement, energy, spontaneity and structure, dynamism and control. These are just some of the sensations one can feel by looking at Katrin Fridriks works. In her art there’s all the explosive energy of the natural world, and of course of Iceland, her homeland. Every work by the Icelandic artist recalls the vastness of nature, cosmic panoramas, lunar landscapes, geological stratification, arid land cracked by drought.

Katrin Fridriks ©

Looking at her works the observer perceives how small a man is compared to the greatness of the world we live in; it’s as if the colors are driven by a supernatural force and they come out of the canvas to invade their surroundings as if, indeed, their power is part of nature itself. The main purpose is to find a common ground between opposites in order to generate a genuine and real emotional explosion in the mind of the viewer. The vividness is accentuated by the combination of bright and contrasting colors.

Katrin Fridriks ©

Katrin Fridriks, Rising awakening beauty swandance (diptych), 2015, 100 x 200 +5cm

Fridriks also plays with the contrast between micro and macro: in Noble Awareness & Spirits (acrylic on canvas 150×150 cm), a large scale painting, some of the details are only noticeable from a very close distance. Another important element of her artistic work is the relationship with Land art, her creations can be often found integrated inside installations which surpass the limits of traditional paintings. 

Katrin Fridriks, Cosmika, painted sand rock, 2004

Katrin Fridriks, Code DNA and munition, installation, 2008, 170 x 170 x 170 cm

During the years Fridriks developed unique techniques in handling the canvas, one among the others is the so called “full macro” which consists in pouring multiple layers of paint on a tilted canvas, using gravity to let the paint flow naturally on the fabric and therefore taking advantage of the different elastic properties of the materials she uses, this way she’s able to recreate a composition which resembles a landscape. About these works the artist says: “I name them Dreamliner series, from technical standpoint the lines appear quicker depending on the inclination angle of the canvas (60–90°) when leaking the acrylic material.” According to Katrin Fridriks it is impossible to make use of the artistic output if the body and the mind are not flowing as a single and indistinguishable entity and, more than that, she finds necessary to entrust herself to randomness and control. The magic of the art manifests itself in a very short interval of few seconds, when the color glides on the canvas, materializing in that instant the galaxy of colors and details which are visualized in the mind of the artist.

Giulia Venturini