David B. Smith Gallery is proud to present John Knuth’s first solo exhibition in Colorado, titled Nothing Without Providence. Based in Los Angeles, Knuth relies on unorthodox and anarchistic processes and materials such as flies, sugar, smoke, and emergency flares, in order to make sense of the chaotic landscape of L.A. and the surrounding environment of Southern California. For this new body of work, Knuth is bringing thousands of flies into the gallery and making his paintings on site in order to expose his process, all the while considering the landscape of Colorado; Knuth’s paintings are reflections on how location, intention and chance inform us all.

For the first two weeks of the exhibition, Knuth will set up his studio in the middle of the gallery so that the audience can witness his process. Knuth’s structures encase thousands of flies, which are fed acrylic paint, resulting in otherworldly abstract paintings. By bringing his flies into the gallery, Knuth forces us to confront the abject nature of the process while witnessing the highly controlled development of each work. Though the flies appear to be working at random, Knuth’s intentional methods result in calculated and thoughtful abstractions. In referencing the Colorado state motto, Nil sine Numine or “Nothing without providence”, Knuth speculates that perhaps we all are operating in the world like his flies – with purpose and dignity regardless of the task at hand, while forces larger than we may imagine are pointing us toward results and futures we cannot foresee.

Knuth’s paintings will be unveiled on June 13, and for the second half of the exhibition, viewers are invited to contemplate the aftermath of the flies’ labor. The results hover somewhere between minimalism, performance, and process based paintings. Here, entropy and deterioration is ritualized and honored. Ultimately, these paintings are subtle meditations on destiny, the divine will, chance, and location.

  • John Knuth Installation view John Knuth
    Installation view
  • John Knuth Installation view John Knuth
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  • John Knuth Installation view John Knuth
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  • John Knuth Installation view John Knuth
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  • John Knuth Great Providence John Knuth
    Great Providence
  • John Knuth Destiny Without Providence John Knuth
    Destiny Without Providence
  • John Knuth High Manifest John Knuth
    High Manifest
  • John Knuth High Dispersion John Knuth
    High Dispersion
  • John Knuth Providence Ascension John Knuth
    Providence Ascension
  • John Knuth Plains Destiny John Knuth
    Plains Destiny
  • John Knuth High Plains John Knuth
    High Plains
  • John Knuth Destiny Dispersion John Knuth
    Destiny Dispersion
  • 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 Installation view 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
    Installation view