John Knuth

John Knuth’s multifaceted work explores themes of transcendence through material manipulation. Through his alchemical process, he transforms seemingly mundane materials into extraordinary objects. His investigative process bridges the disciplines of aesthetics and chemistry to reveal new avenues of perception.

To produce his fly paintings, Knuth raises hundreds of thousands of common houseflies from the larval stage, feeding them a mixture of sugar and acrylic paint. The flies digest and regurgitate this mixture onto the paintings, leaving millions of flyspeck markings on the surface of each canvas. While it is a chance-based process, Knuth exercises control through the careful use of color and layering of paint. The resulting works reside in a space between minimalism, performance, and conceptual art. For Knuth, they also function as landscapes of his hometown of LA, capturing both the density and sprawl of the city’s man-made infrastructure.

JOHN KNUTH (American, b. 1978) lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He received an MFA from University of Southern California and a BFA from the University of Minnesota. Knuth’s recent solo exhibitions include Powerplant at Brand New Gallery, Milan, Italy; Base Alchemy at 5 Car Garage, Santa Monica, CA; Master Plan at Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago, IL; Elevated Uncertainty at Marie Kirkegaard, Copenhagen, Denmark; and Fading Horizon at Human Resources, Los Angeles, CA. His works has recently been included in group shows at International Print Center, New York, NY; Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY; MassArt, Boston, MA; Self-Titled, Tilburg, NL; Loudhailer, Greene Exhibitions, China Art Objects and Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles, CA, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

  • John Knuth Sky Above... Earth Below... John Knuth
    Sky Above... Earth Below...
  • John Knuth What you do here... Affects the atmosphere... John Knuth
    What you do here...…
  • John Knuth The Decisions John Knuth
    The Decisions
  • John Knuth Sand Canyon John Knuth
    Sand Canyon
  • John Knuth Mount Low John Knuth
    Mount Low
  • John Knuth Installation view John Knuth
    Installation view
  • John Knuth Installation view John Knuth
    Installation view
  • John Knuth Installation view John Knuth
    Installation view
  • John Knuth Great Providence John Knuth
    Great Providence
  • John Knuth Destiny Without Providence John Knuth
    Destiny Without Providence
  • John Knuth Destiny Dispersion John Knuth
    Destiny Dispersion
  • John Knuth High Plains John Knuth
    High Plains
  • John Knuth Providence Ascension John Knuth
    Providence Ascension
  • John Knuth Plains Destiny John Knuth
    Plains Destiny
  • John Knuth High Dispersion John Knuth
    High Dispersion
  • John Knuth High Manifest John Knuth
    High Manifest
  • John Knuth Elevation Burn John Knuth
    Elevation Burn
  • John Knuth Wakefield John Knuth
    Wakefield
  • John Knuth Solid Ground John Knuth
    Solid Ground