Clive Knights


My printmaking involves repeated acts of monstrative play between intervolved beings: my body and the bodies of plate, ink, brayer, paper, table, studio, earth and sky. The monotypes are born from a collaborative faith in what is possible when bodies engage, fluctuating between vulnerable openness to each other and creative resistance. Cajoling each other, agonistically, through haptic enterprise, the fluidity of ink across the surface of the plate offers a capacity for open-ended play delimited, nevertheless, spatially by the edges of the plate, and temporally by the drying speed of the ink, eventually pushed towards fixity by a very different gestural effort of pressing down. The majority of my monotypes are hand-burnished (no press) from a mylar plate. My goal is to employ the tips of my fingers within the restricted frame of the plate to conjure both the vastness of the terrestrial landscape and the existential predicament of the human body; micro-gestures towards their sublime beauty registered, indelibly, in the fibers of paper.


Clive Knights practices both art and architecture, in particular mixed media collage, monotype printmaking and the design and installation of unique festival structures in collaboration with colleagues and students from Portland State University School of Architecture, where he is the Director. He holds professional architectural design degrees from Portsmouth Polytechnic, UK, and a Master of Philosophy in Architectural History and Theory from Cambridge University. He has written on the cultural meanings of architectural representation understood through the phenomenology of the human body, with particular reference to the writings of Maurice Merleau-Ponty; the revelatory potential of metaphor in poetic work; and speculations on the limits and capacities of human subjectivity. He has exhibited creative work internationally, including three projects at the 1985 Venice Biennale as a founding partner of Ferenczi Design. He has shown mixed media work in many public settings, including the Autzen Gallery at Portland State University, and the Northwest Biennial at the Tacoma Art Museum, Washington State. Most recently his collage work was included in a feature article in Kolaj Magazine #17, and his miniature monotype work was exhibited this year at the 25th Parkside National Small Print Exhibition at the University of Wisconsin.