William Knight - Calligraphy in Space at The Knapp Galley
Thru December 30th. This is an exceptional show!
A tree's shape is a visual record of its life-long dialogue--by turns intense, pleasant, balanced, deprived, sporadic and short--with the noble elements of water, sun, and earth. The exploded-tire fragments I am working with likewise acquire their design by way of many, if less noble factors: the laws of physics and chaos that apply to the blown-apart pieces; the stresses on rubber and steel; the difference of the rubbers employed throughout the tires; and the nature of the impact that caused the blow-out. Furthermore, once scattered over the road, a fragment is repeatedly exposed to weather extremes and to the forces of being run over by cars and trucks which alter its shape; and the gathering together of fragments into a mass is, in turn, subjected to the above processes. In its discovered state, we can see the rubber--like the tree-- has assumed the shape of its biography. That's where my work begins.
"The raw material of William Knight's recent work are the shreds of blown-out tires, skeins of black rubber left for loss at the sides of our nation's highways. What results after a countless iteration of fine judgments--testing thicknesses against contour against overarching gesture, spacings and conjunctions and negative space considered from all angles of view--is a pure calligraphy of spirit enacted in a real space made vibrant. The works operate in two ways: mounted off walls as seemingly impromptu, open-form reliefs, using the white backdrop as a visual foil--a kind of haiku of line, space and gesture, cursively alive and adventurous within the shallow volume of space that the piece itself defines; or, delicately suspended from ceiling height. These turn subtly with air currents, and, changing constantly as one moves 360 degrees around them, remarkably hold a tautness and tightness of expression from manifold vantage points." James Dinerstein