Master Plan
April 5 – May 17, 2014
Gallery One

Exhibition Text


ANDREW RAFACZ is pleased to announce Master Plan, a solo exhibition of new work by John Knuth in Gallery One.

Chicago, IL, April 5, 2014- ANDREW RAFACZ continues the spring 2014 season with Master Plan, a solo exhibition of new paintings by John Knuth. The exhibition continues through Saturday, May 17, 2014.

For Knuth, the most basic level of alchemy can be transcendent. Whether he is working with sugar, smoke or insects, the common and fleeting are repurposed and given new meaning. Much of his project is centered on the natural world and its potential in the process of art-making. He intends to create something that is beyond the normal, daily existence or identity of his chosen material or participant.

To create the paintings in Master Plan, John Knuth feeds watercolor paint to hundreds of thousands of common houseflies. The flies regurgitate the paint on the canvas. As they eat, they digest externally. Every time they land on a surface of something there is a chance they will deposit what they just ate on that surface. That mark is called a flyspeck. To control this process, the artist builds boxes that limit the flies’ movements to the surface area of the canvas. The final paintings are comprised of millions of small dots of paint, determined by inevitable deposits of these flies. While created with a degree of chance, the artist, through research and continued refinement of his process, is largely in control of where and to what amount the paint is applied. The colorful paintings reside in a space between landscape and abstraction. For Knuth, they are analogous to the man-made infrastructure of Los Angeles, with denser areas next to marks that are sparser and sprawl about the canvas.

JOHN KNUTH (American, b. 1978) lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He received an MFA from USC and a BFA from the University of Minnesota. He currently has work on display in We’ll Wear a Jolly Clown Mask at The Speed Museum in Louisville, KY, PARK Self-Titled Space, Tilburg, Netherlands, and New Prints 2014/Winter at the International Print Center New York, New York, NY. He has had recent solo shows at Marie Kirkegaard Gallery, Copenhagen, DE and Human Recourses, Los Angeles, CA. He has shown his work internationally in Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Iceland and Mexico, and nationally at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Locust Projects in Miami, Another Year in LA, Stephen Cohen Gallery, Andrew Rafacz Gallery in Chicago, Southern Exposure in San Francisco and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.