The Silver Scenery
“Distorted Landscape” paintings and Mylar sandbag sculptures by John Knuth
March 22 – April 19, 2019
NewStudio Gallery and The Orange Advisory present The Silver Scenery, a solo exhibition of new “Distorted Landscape” paintings and Mylar sandbag sculptures by John Knuth. Like alluring funhouse mirrors, Knuth’s Mylar works provide imperfect but engrossing reflections of the landscape.
Knuth continues to reinvent how images are made, and how that process informs the meaning of his work. He is deeply invested in an ongoing exploration of how depictions of our rapidly changing landscape are rendered and presented. Knuth has employed Mylar in recent works, repurposing the highly reflective, razor-thin material often used for emergency blankets. When pulled taut, Mylar evokes the reflective, solid nature of mirrored and polished steel surfaces.
Knuth’s “Distorted Landscapes” pose questions central to our engagement with the landscape—What do we see reflected in the landscape? Do we see ourselves? Do we see the reflection of others? What happens when a reflection of the landscape is distorted? Does that distortion tell a more accurate the truth? Is our perception of the landscape itself a distorted truth?
Constructed from sandbags made of highly reflective thermal blankets, Knuth’s floor sculptures resemble half-built walls or breakwaters. With elegant simplicity, these sculptures reference both hope and disaster—rudimentary shelters, or perhaps bulwarks against impending destruction. In their half-finished state, they are caught between constructing the future and collapsing under the weight of the past. They are suspended in a state of ambiguous entropy.
About the Artist
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1978, John Knuth lives and works in Los Angeles. Knuth received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California.
His work has been featured in numerous solo and group shows, including Marie Kirkegaard Gallery, Copenhagen; Steve Turner Gallery, Los Angeles; Brand New Gallery, Milan; Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena; Five Car Garage, Santa Monica; Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago; and David B. Smith Gallery, Denver. Knuth recently curated the group exhibition Bio Perversity at Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles.
Knuth’s work has been published in Frieze, Flash Art, the Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times T Magazine, and online on MOCAtv and Hyperallergic.