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57. Tom Knechtel
1232 Levin Ave. Mtn. View, CA 94040
 

SEPTEMBER 1- 30, 2018

 

 

Tom Knechtel’s handmade book is placed on a small podium in the Proxy Gallery. Inside a handmade folder are loose “pages” separated by glassine sheets, each “page” containing a drawing or painting. The drawings and paintings are almost an inventory of techniques and modes of representation: etching, watercolor, acrylic, woodcut, pencil or ink sketch.

 

The book is meant to be removed from the gallery and perused while sitting down and wearing white cotton gloves. Thus, the artist seeks a moment of intimacy in the enjoyment as well as the production of this work. The drawings are of objects found upon emptying the house of his deceased parents, whose address is the title of the exhibition. In the back of each drawing or painting is a handwritten “caption” about the object, emphasizing the documentary/archivistic nature of the project, as well as the infusion of emotional “alchemy” into the process: how to turn a thing into something else? how does a thing turn into art?

 

In this case, the passport-sized book speaks to a distillation but also portability of identity that allows one to carry it geographically across borders but also to carry the past forward into the present and future. The drawings and paintings are one way to come to grips with loss and grief; to acknowledge-without a solution- that art is a multivalent tool by which to navigate complex and also contradictory emotions.  

 

 

Contact: Annetta Kapon, akapon@otis.edu

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