Christina Mullan: Luke Reidy

Luke Reidy’s screen-print architectural structures unfold behind crisp white frames and glass. Harmony and balance, sometimes verging on tilting off-kilter, the structures presented are like origami birds, folded and beautifully resolute. The forms are folded and woven within each other, blended above and below the flat Somerset composite. Dark Easter Island blocks are constructed atop peach print backdrop. Eastern jade and light pink shards are slivered and sliced across ‘granny pink’ rectangles. Greys are challenging – they sit as optical illusions inviting the viewers to block half of their vision in a game of ‘spot the tone.’

Confident bright yellow is present throughout Reidy’s show with dynamic politico blue arrested calmly under navy triangular tie clips and pegs, beautiful exact shadows levy up into the form, holding them altogether – block and elastic in the same measure. If Modernist theory proposes that an artist working entirely to the ‘dictates of the medium’ á la Newman’s ‘zips,’ an appraisal free from the dictates of the figurative follows. In Greenberg’s words “make sure the experience is there first.”

Reidy aspires to “shapes that are pleasing to the eye” and holds a fascination with contemporary architectural structure and design. However his use of colour, the planar unfolding and layering of these prints suggest more complicated readings of his work. Defining a unique measure for opacity, cutting by hand and an almost incomprehensible obsession for the “even flush of colour” that makes up the body of his degree show demonstrate an artist wholly dedicated to the pursuit of his craft. Balance, form, shape and colour – the subtlety of the ‘holding space’ of his planar vision reminds me of Clyfford Still:

“The best works are often those with the fewest and simplest elements… until you look at them a little more, and things start to happen.”

Written by Christina Mullan

Christina Mullan is an artist and PhD candidate at GMIT.

Luke Reidy has been nominated for an RDS Visual Art Award and is about to undertake a year-long print based residency.