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Exhibition of works by Nico Krijno on view at the Ravestijn Gallery
Nico Krijno, Scultpure Study with Wooden Blocks, 2015.

By: Dana Benlakhdar

AMSTERDAM.- An image of a veneer structure is composed of curved strokes and air. Brown, beige, moderately cream-peach, rose. With pleated tails the curves descend within the frame. The bent figurations are far from seamless, almost as if unsynchronized within themselves. A question follows; how does one read into this image? The eye wonders on the frame to find fluidity but is regularly interrupted by the intersecting cul-de-sacs, by fringes where fringes shouldn't be. The wooden strokes and their shadows are ruptured, disjointed, disfigured. Nico Krijno, Veneer Wood Wood, two thousand and fourteen, inkjet print on cotton photo rag.

Maquette stands for a scale model, often a prototype of a large-scale public sculpture. In Krijno's practice maquette is a recurring theme, perhaps one of his main interests due to its capacity to trick the eye to perceive it as something more monumental than its actual condition. At the same time careful and precise compositions, Krijno's images succeed in perplexing. His sculptural studies are fluently orchestrated illusions teetering on a verge of the physically impossible. But what is impossible today, if anything?

The potential cloaked in digital manipulation is surely nothing of a novelty. Yet, the acuity in which Krijno tweaks his photographs strike as anew. Digitally deconstructing the physical properties of his models, Krijno seems to remind the beholder that what follows the three-dimensional composition is a two-dimensional image. The spatial configuration of matter turns into a representation, like in all photographs. Then, with some further digital enabling, Krijno reassembles the frame and our understanding of the pictorial space.

Krijno's practice is rich in narrative form, particularly in a sense of structures and associations. If one follows the visual cues he implements in to each frame in his book Synonym Study from last year, it becomes quickly intelligible how effectively the narrative transitions from simple resemblance to playful recognition; like an invariably fluctuating analogy, reinventing itself at every turn, in every colour, every shape, and substance.

Krijno is a composer above anything else. Of matter first of all, then semblance, too. The 'meaning' in his images acquires its full potential only concurrently through the referential interplay of the images. But his images are also aesthetically delightful within themselves, as pure (visual) research. His vocabulary seems to always be on the run, regenerating its appearance as it evolves. This is the one thing, if one needs to be named, that makes his work so intriguing on each consecutive encounter; surpassing the moment, and perhaps even its authorial intent.

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