Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents our third solo exhibition of paintings by Kurt Knobelsdorf. Knobelsdorf is a visionary painter of altered realities. His imagery reveals a profound sympathy for undercurrents in American life. Dogs, horses, kids, baseball players, astronauts and professional wrestlers appear swathed in dense textures of paint and found materials, Knobelsdorf compresses a multiplicity of meanings into a single image. His recent paintings accentuate surface materiality. Although texture has always been important in Knobelsdorf’s paintings, his new work veers into the unknown, coasting on the edge of image and abstraction.
Knobelsdorf was born in Detroit, Michigan and grew up along Florida’s Gulf Coast. His sympathetic and impious images of decaying America have roots in these places. Knobelsdorf studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York and Philadelphia, Pa.
Knobelsdorf’s paintings are included in the current American Academy of Arts and Letters Exhibition of Work by Newly Elected Members and Recipients of Honors and Awards, on display at the American Academy, located on Audobon Terrace, west side of Broadway, between 155th and 156th Streets, through June 15th. The citation for his John Koch Award in Art from the Academy states that Knobelsdorf’s paintings “focus our attention on scenes of daily life which, for must of us, have gone unnoticed. So suffused with the primal, clay-like materiality of his paint, the light in his work oozes and the slowness of this emanation make these incidental moments remarkable.”
Knobelsdorf honors the silent absurdity of experience. As John Yau puts it, “This is the emotional core of Knobelsdorf’s work: no matter who we are, some part of us remains anonymous and unfathomable, both to others and ourselves.”
Knobelsdorf has found a way to make ‘handmade’ painting urgent, outrageous and essential.
(Concurrently with this show Stephanie Pierce is showing new paintings at our gallery around the corner at 208 Forsyth St)