Karla Knight Solo Presentation
September 9–12, 2021
Karla Knight has created a simultaneously ancient and futuristic world of her own through diagrammatic paintings, drawings and tapestries that imagine plans for spaceships from unknown planets. Knight grew up in a household where the existence of unknown, supernatural forces was readily accepted. Her father was an author of books on UFOs, the occult and ESP; and later in life, her interactions with her own child inspired her to construct a hieroglyphic language that appears throughout her work. The language’s meaning has remained unnamed to others, as it is ultimately inspired by “the mysteries and absurdities of life.” As Knight asserts, “It’s not about deciphering the work or the language. It’s about living with the unknown.”
This presentation for Independent premieres a new body of work that the artist refers to as “tapestries.” Using weathered cotton from 1940s–50s grain bags, Knight sews pieces together to form patchwork compositions. Unstretched, she draws and paints directly on the surface with flashe, colored pencil and graphite, and hand-embroiders select portions. Knight’s first solo institutional exhibition, Navigator, opening at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum on October 17th, will also include a number of these tapestries.
Karla Knight (b. 1958, New York, NY) lives and works in Redding, CT. Her work has been widely exhibited, and she is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Walker Art Center and Emily Fisher Landau, among others. She has been the recipient of various awards and fellowships including MacDowell, New Hampshire; Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY; and two Connecticut Artist fellowships.