philadelphia

View of “Christopher Knowles,” 2015. From left: A Red Clock for Bob Dole, 2009; Untitled, 2012; A Blue Clock for Bill Clinton, 2009.

Christopher Knowles

ICA - Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia

View of “Christopher Knowles,” 2015. From left: A Red Clock for Bob Dole, 2009; Untitled, 2012; A Blue Clock for Bill Clinton, 2009.

With works dictated by clear binary divisions and rules followed to the letter, “Christopher Knowles: In a Word” demonstrated the steady, straightforward logic of an assured practitioner. Although Knowles is an exemplary artist’s artist—having developed something of a cult following within the art world—ICA’s expansive midcareer show was his first of this scale. The survey, which predominantly featured text-based drawings and paintings (with the notable exceptions of a few representational paintings and a handful of sculptures), fleshed out a lexicon constructed around a singular preoccupation with time. Opening with the typewriter poems of Knowles’s 1970s adolescence (when the autistic youth was “discovered” by Robert Wilson, who invited Knowles to perform with his Byrd Hoffman theatrical group and contribute a significant chunk of the script for Wilson’s 1976 opera

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the January 2016 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.