Michael Kindred Knight’s small, intimate paintings represent complex pictorial situations that resynthesize historical idioms. Built upon a dissection and repurposing of modernist abstract strategies and motifs, and neither strictly landscape based nor pure abstraction—with allusions to Schutz, Hodgkins, Diebenkorn, and Scully, his paintings inhabit an in-between space that is as much about a formal appreciation and relationship to other paintings as it is about undermining the logic of any specific style. Knight uses color to establish a range of artificial constructs where a sense of place, time, light, atmosphere, gravity, and organic and architectonic structures are equally engaged. Luminous and beautiful, there is a similarity to these works, like receding windows that continuously open onto a distant horizon but never in full view—or, a painting that frustratingly eludes meaning.
Composed of adjacent and overlapping layers of brushstrokes, the mark making is direct and accessible. Each painting looks like a complete, unified whole where shapes appear to be spatially connected. They also seem to drift apart, free of one another’s influence. Forceful yet lacking volume, their dimensionality is implied and interrupted—in turn revealing and concealing, establishing a fleeting sense of harmony. All of these elements conspire to create a seemingly legible space that is, for all of its technical and compositional nuance, unsettled and contradictory, yet strangely familiar. This artifice functions as an entry point into a story where the ritualization and predictability of temporal experience is shuffled, a place that is informed by our experience of the present and framed by a sense of oversaturation.