In the studio
Katrin Fridriks
REYKJAVIK, ICELAND

An entire galaxy could be contained in the paintings of Katrin Fridriks. They are a testament to the Icelandic artist’s force of nature.

Katrin inherited Iceland’s native narrative, that of sublime nature and of glaciers and geysers. Hot and cold matter colliding. An explosion which doesn’t create extinction but the endless patterns of life. Organic shapes inhabit Katrin Fridriks’ paintings as if abstract astronauts had made them while looking back at the Earth through space. 

Photo's by Philippe Servent

Stillness and simplicity are nothing but a disguise. The same is true of life and painting.

Subject matter is everything. The artist’s passion for genetics, biology, and the environment are not a purely visual fascination. The paint shares its space on the canvas with questions about the evolution of our society, the health of our planet, such as climate change, energy & water resources. Fridriks’ paintings are aware that they exist as a part of a fragile ecosystem in the world at large.

The crisp sharpness of her paintings suggests hours extending into weeks of sitting still with tiny brushes, carefully composing every detail into its existence in time. But Fridriks’ technique is the opposite, rather than applying the paint she throws it and translates the complexity of detailing into the fraction of a second. 

Connecting gesture, angle, and speed, the artist experiments with different formulas and paints. Using multiple colours, she choreographs her palette onto the canvas through movement.

The floor of the artist’s basement studio is covered in paint splatters. The only natural light comes through the sunroof, one straight line from sky to ground. It functions as a cocoon for Fridriks, allowing her to withdraw from the world. Adjustable lamps dangle and poke into the air, creating a spaceship-like shapes. 

Driven by the physicality of speed and the energy of her body she splashes paint onto the canvas and into the universe. Fridriks’ paintings are a fusion of her mental and physical flow.

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Awakening Ride, 2018

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Personal Speed of Light, 2018

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King of Awakening & Awareness, 2017

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Waving Miracle – Magic Mind, 2017

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Waving Force of Nature - Awakening, 2017