Viewpoints @ The Watermill Center: In Conversation With Christopher Knowles

The Watermill Center kicks off its 2023 Viewpoints conversation series on Thursday, February 6, at 6 PM, with a discussion of their latest exhibition, “Christopher Knowles / STAND.”

American artist Christopher Knowles and art historian Lauren DiGiulio will discuss Knowles’ exhibition, which presents a comprehensive exhibition of an artistic career from the 1970s through today, including drawings, typings, paintings, sculpture, and sound work.

The evening will feature a performance by Knowles, followed by a Q&A moderated by DiGiulio.

Viewpoints is The Watermill Center’s year-round conversation series, granting art enthusiasts the opportunity to gather and discuss creative themes vital to the contemporary moment. Viewpoints engages with the community through intriguing dialogue, artist talks, and lectures that span across disciplines.

Knowles is an American multidisciplinary artist who works in poetry, painting, sound art, performance, and sculpture. Since the early 1970s, he has remixed visual and sonic material from popular culture to create vibrant new vocabularies that expand our understanding of information systems. His work pushes into the gaps between language, sound, and the visual image, creating a hybrid, reparative method of communication that blends the concrete and the abstract.

Knowles’s work has been exhibited in many solo and group showings internationally, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Musée Galliera in Paris, the 2006 Whitney Biennial, and the Tate Modern, London. Beginning in the early 1970s, Knowles collaborated on the creation of a series of theater works staged by the Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds under the direction of Robert Wilson. He wrote the libretto for Wilson and Philip Glass’s 1976 opera “Einstein on the Beach.” A book of his typewriter poems, “Typings 1974-1977” was published by Vehicle Editions in 1979.

In 2015, the Institute for Contemporary Arts, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia presented a retrospective exhibition of his work titled “Christopher Knowles: In a Word.” His 2012-2015 solo performance “The Sundance Kid is Beautiful with Christopher Knowles” was presented at the Louvre Museum, the Whitebox Gallery in New York, and the ICA, Philadelphia.

His poetry has been published in a variety of magazines and journals, including The New Yorker, The Village Voice, Interview, and Office magazines. Knowles’s two and three-dimensional works are held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Watermill Center, and numerous other institutional and private collections. He lives and works in New York City.

Lauren DiGiulio is an art historian, curator, and educator. Her research focuses on contemporary visual art and performance, with a particular emphasis on the way these fields intersect with feminist and queer theory, genre, and critical race theory. She writes about linguistic embodiment, ekphrasis, dramaturgical methods, and the history of critical theory, with a methodology rooted in the embodied practices of artistic production, primary document research, and radical care-based relational networking. From 2020 to 2021, she was the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Carolina Performing Arts at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where she directed the Mellon Foundation Discovery Through Iterative Learning (DisTIL) grant.

She received her PhD from the Program in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester in 2020, her MA with Distinction from the Department of French at King’s College London in 2011, and her BA in Art History and French from Vassar College in 2006.

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