September 14, 2015 - Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania (ICA) - Christopher Knowles: In a Word
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September 14, 2015

Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania (ICA)

Christopher Knowles, The Sundance Kid Is Beautiful, 2013. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Julian Mommert.

Christopher Knowles
In a Word
September 16–December 27, 2015

Opening: September 16, 6–9pm
Conversation: October 7, 6:30–8pm, Hilton Als and Anthony Elms on Christopher Knowles
Performance: November 11–12, The Sundance Kid Is Beautiful

Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania (ICA)
118 S. 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
USA

icaphila.org
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The Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania is pleased to present Christopher Knowles: In a Word. Christopher Knowles (born 1959, New York; lives Brooklyn) is regarded as a poet and painter, yet his output is broader than this suggests. This exhibition, his most comprehensive to date, spans many mediums—text, sound, painting, drawing, sculpture, and performance—including pieces made in collaboration with esteemed theater director Robert Wilson. The work records and reorders the everyday materials around us using incantatory rhythms and repetition. Typings of language permutations, reimagined song lyrics, interlocking blocks of raw color commonly depict family and close friends. Sculptures are precise and direct in construction: polka-dotted cones, brilliantly hued paper cutouts, Lego structures, and accumulations of wind-up alarm clocks. Performances feature daily routines rendered into theatrical exaggeration. Taken together, Knowles’s art places him squarely in the tradition of Laurie Anderson, Joseph Beuys, Stuart Sherman, Paul Thek, and other twentieth-century artists who opened a large window on do-it-yourself production, interiority and the shifting registers with which an artist’s voice can enunciate in social settings.

Co-organized by Chief Curator Anthony Elms and guest curator Hilton Als, writer and chief theater critic for The New Yorker. A fully illustrated catalogue, published later in 2015, will include essays by the curators, a reprint of an autobiographical text by Knowles, and a new essay by art historian Lauren DiGiulio.

This exhibition travels to the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston in 2017.

ICA is always free for all. Free admission is courtesy of Amanda and Glenn Fuhrman.

Major support for Christopher Knowles: In a Word has been provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional funding has been provided by Pamela Toub Berkman & David J. Berkman, Julie & Larry Bernstein, Charles X Block, Carol T. & John G. Finley, Cheri S. & Steven M. Friedman, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, Kirk Kirkpatrick, Toby Devan Lewis, and Mari & Peter Shaw. Support for The Sundance Kid Is Beautiful at ICA has been provided by the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation.

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In a Word
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