“My new paintings chronicle the process of losing someone we love. But contrary to the usual idea that grief is conveyed through darkness and silence, these paintings are often made with bright colors, portraying a world that is alive and vibrant. Perhaps that is how we reconcile ourselves to loss, understanding that, as Patti Smith observed, losing people we love is part of the human gift.
This body of work is titled Drawn After Life. In these paintings, the artist is often shown drawing, trying to record the one he loves before he has vanished, the tools and objects of his studio surrounding him in many of the paintings. The drawings he makes are always different. The artist’s job to embody experience never stops, even in the worst of times.”
Tom Knechtel was born in Palo Alto, California in 1952. In 2002, he had a 25-year retrospective entitled On Wanting to Grow Horns, which opened at the Weatherspoon Art Gallery in North Carolina before traveling to the Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, The Contemporary Art Museum, Honolulu, and the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle. His work is in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Orange County Museum of Art, The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, The Berardo Collection and the Sintra Museum of Modern Art, Portugal. He has had solo exhibitions at Marc Selwyn Fine Art, the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, PPOW Gallery in New York and Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles. Knechtel has been included in numerous group exhibitions at venues including The Drawing Center, New York, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut, Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Knechtel lives and works in Los Angeles.