Mark McKnight

Hunger for the Absolute

February 26 - April 3, 2021

Mark McKnight, Swap, 2021gelatin silver print40 x 50 inches, 101.60 x 127.00 cm
Mark McKnight, Untitled (Tree Void II), 2021gelatin silver print20 x 24 inches, 50.80 x 60.96 cm
Mark McKnight, Piss, 2021gelatin silver print20 x 24 inches, 101.60 x 127.00 cm
Mark McKnight, Beggar II, 2021gelatin silver print24 x 30 inches, 60.96 x 76.20 cm
Mark McKnight, Untitled, 20212 gelatin silver prints in separate frames, dyptich16 x 20 inches, 40.64 x 50.80 cm
Mark McKnight, Crest, 2021gelatin silver print40 x 50 inches, 101.60 x 127.00 cm
Mark McKnight, Untitled, 20212 gelatin silver prints, diptych24 x 40 inches, 60.96 x 101.60 cm
Mark McKnight, Untitled, 2021gelatin silver print20 x 24 inches, 50.80 x 60.96 cm
Mark McKnight, The Grave of Love, 2021gelatin silver print48 x 60 inches, 121.92 x 152.40 cm
Mark McKnight, Clouds I, 2021gelatin silver print311 x 14 inches, 27.94 x 35.56 cm
Mark McKnight, Marriage (Sky, Horizon), 2021gelatin silver print48 x 60 inches, 121.92 x 152.40 cm
Mark McKnight, Untitled, 2021gelatin silver print24 x 30 inches, 60.96 x 76.20 cm
Mark McKnight, Wildflowers, 2021gelatin silver print24 x 30 inches, 60.96 x 76.20 cm
Mark McKnight, Dapple, 2021gelatin silver print40 x 50 inches, 101.60 x 127.00 cm
Mark McKnight, Clouds (Opening), 2021gelatin silver print20 x 24 inches, 50.80 x 60.96 cm
Mark McKnight, Black Fly with Bodies, 2021gelatin silver print60 x 48 inches, 152.40 x 121.92 cm
Mark McKnight, installation at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 2021
Mark McKnight, installation at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 2021
Mark McKnight, installation at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 2021
installation at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, Mark McKnight, 2021
Mark McKnight, installation at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 2021
Mark McKnight, installation at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 2021
Mark McKnight, installation at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 2021
Mark McKnight, installation at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 2021
Mark McKnight, installation at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 2021
Mark McKnight, installation at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 2021

Press Release

Earth you know is round but seems flat

You can’t trust
Your senses.

You thought you had seen every variety of creature
but not

this creature.

When I met him, I knew I had

weaned myself from God, not
hunger for the absolute. O unquenched

mouth, tonguing what is and what must
Remain inapprehensible —

Saying You are not finite. You are not finite.

– Frank Bidart “Hunger for the Absolute”

Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery is pleased to announce Hunger for the Absolute, the gallery’s second exhibition by Los Angeles-based photographer Mark McKnight. The exhibition comprises new gelatin silver prints hung in both rooms of the gallery, and will run from February 26 through April 3.

McKnight’s black-and-white photographs radically expand the boundaries of Modernist photography which privileged a singular, objective gaze. McKnight’s landscape is deeply personal. It reflects his youth spent in Southern California, where fecund fields of wildflowers and vast skyscapes provide an otherworldly environment that is sexually, psychologically, and subjectively charged.

McKnight populates this high-desert setting with two friends from within his community who become players in a fantastical drama. These queer, Brown, fleshy protagonists are both stand-ins for the the artist and self-determined subjects in their own right. Through sexual encounter, they demonstrate their own authority and agency, inadvertently upending Modernism’s obsession with “the heroic” and the objective. These figures are terrestrially bound: by gravity and the landscape in which they find themselves, enmeshed in a copulative dance that suggests a striving for the transcendent.

Hunger for the Absolute is divided into two rooms; the main gallery presents a selection of works from McKnight’s recent debut monograph “Heaven is a Prison” (Loose Joints, 2020). These photographs are grouped and hung in poetic stanzas which demonstrate a relationship to time and imaginative space. The front gallery emphasizes the cinematic proclivities of the photographic medium, with a series of images shown on three walls that allow a sweeping view of a singular erotic exchange.

MARK McKNIGHT (b. 1984, USA) currently lives and works in Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited at Aperture Foundation, New York City; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson; California Museum of Photography; Riverside Art Museum; Shulamit Nazarian Gallery, Charlie James Gallery, Roberts & Tilton Gallery, M+B Gallery, Luisotti Gallery, and The Pit Gallery, all in Los Angeles; James Harris Gallery, Seattle; Koppe Astner, Glasgow; and Park View / Paul Soto, Los Angeles, which is staging a concurrent exhibition of McKnight’s work. His photographs are in the public collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle. McKnight’s first monograph, Heaven is a Prison, was published by Loose Joints in September 2020, with support from the Light Work Photobook Award.