Kyle Knobel

Artist Statement

Kyle Knobel is an image-maker working primarily with drawing, painting and screen print; his focus on drawn, singular forms is expressed by his characteristic bouncing yet precise line style.

“I draw from actual life, using primary sources. For me, there is more truth in that. Relying on secondary images, say photographs, results in a flattened, dead reality. I need to see how something sits on a surface. I want to create lively, vital, even iconic images.”

In this series of still lifes, Knobel draws from his immediate surroundings. Objects are depicted without context of a background, yet remain anchored in space with a shadow. These isolated tableaus function as characters that share darkly humorous tales of modern love, drink, lust, possession, self-deception and foolishness.

“I love the role of the storyteller, whether in the guise of the singer, poet or visual artist. To me, the darker the story, the greater the possibility for humor and insight. Laugh or cry, I say.”

These narratives rely in part on cultural sampling, and yet remain open to interpretation. There isn’t a sense that you have to drink the Kool-Aid per se, but there is a definite point of view. His strategy of hijacking logos and graphics in commercially produced goods seems to suggest there is a shared story of our culture. Yet there is a reverse mapping of shared desires and fears displayed wholeheartedly on his objects, on his own terms. With a style that is part punk, part design, part Saturday morning cartoon, Knobel’s voice questions, criticizes and celebrates the ludicrousness of it all.

Curriculum Vitae

Solo Exhibits

  • Eleanor Harwood Gallery. Drawings. San Francisco CA April 2010
  • Triple Base. On Losing & Finding One’s Line. Installation. San Francisco CA 2005
  • Edo Salon. Drawings/installation. San Francisco CA 2003
  • Adobe Books Gallery. Drawings/installation. San Francisco CA 2003
  • Build Gallery. Paintings. San Francisco CA 2003
  • Artists Television Access (ATA). Window installation. San Francisco CA 2002
  • Bevy Gallery. Paintings. Dunkirk NY 1996

Group Exhibits

  • Adobe Books.  stacked/multiplied.  San Francisco CA 2011
  • The Hallway Gallery. Pattern. Mixed Media on paper. San Francisco CA 2009
  • The LAB. Postcard 11. Mixed Media on paper. San Francisco CA 2008
  • Eleanor Harwood Gallery. Miami Art Fair (Aqua). Books. Miami FL 2007
  • Eleanor Harwood Gallery. Albedo. Book. San Francisco CA 2007
  • Adobe Books. Miami Art Fair (Aqua). Work on paper. Miami FL 2006
  • Remote Satellite. Drawings. Oakland CA 2005
  • Headlands Center for the Arts. Close Calls. Book. Sausalito CA 2004
  • Mimi Barr Gallery. Books!Awesome! Artist Book. San Francisco CA 2004
  • Tangent Gallery. The Bay Area Show. Book. Detroit MI 2004
  • Southern Exposure. Monster Drawing Rally. Drawing. San Francisco CA 2004
  • 21 Grand Gallery. Place-Oriented Work. Video installation. Oakland CA 2003
  • The LAB. Q: Where you at? Drawings. San Francisco CA 2003
  • Quotidian Gallery. Blood Show. Drawing. San Francisco CA 2002
  • The LAB. The Last Hurrah. Installation. San Francisco CA 2002
  • Independent Media Center. 2 Decades of Ephemeral Art. Seattle WA 2001
  • Southern Exposure. Postcard 5. Video stills on paper. San Francisco CA 2001
  • DeBasement. Installation San Francisco CA 2000
  • 4 Walls. Postcard 4. San Francisco CA 1999
  • Gallery 82. Allentown. Paintings. Buffalo NY 1998
  • Ford Street Lofts. Break My Heart 14. Installation. Buffalo NY 1998
  • Napoleon Street Studios. First Annual. Paintings San Francisco CA 1997
  • UC Berkeley gallery. 21 pieces Left to Right. Paintings. Berkeley CA 1995
  • JT Christian Gallery. Explorations in Paint II. Paintings. Fredonia NY 1995


  • Adobe Books. Video Night. Video: Taraval. San Francisco CA 2002
  • 21 Grand. T-10 festival. Video: Taraval. Oakland CA 2001
  • Artists Television Access (ATA). Reallocate This. Video: OK. San Fran. CA 2001
  • John Simms Center. New Work. Video: OK. San Francisco CA 2001
  • Artists Television Access (ATA). Video: Street Sweeper. San Francisco CA 2000

Special Projects

  • Record/Play 001. Book of images by K. Knobel. 44 pp., color 2007
  • For Their Love… Book of security envelopes. 2nd edition, 40 pp., b&w xerox 2007
  • Toward the Light. Book w/ I. Keir, design/photos by K. Knobel. 52pp. color 2007
  • Satellite magazine. Interview w/ doc film-maker J. Jones. 4 pp., color 2006
  • SECA Catalog. SF MOMA. Cover image for Sarah Cain exhibit. 1 p., b&w 2006
  • Record/Play 000. Book of interviews of Bay Area visual artists. 50 pp, color 2004
  • SF MOMA. 10 minute video for museum visitors. 2002
  • Somatic Lapse. Performance w/ R. Nordschow. Video by K. Knobel. 21 Grand. Oakland CA 2002
  • Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. San Francisco CA 2002
  • New Langton Arts. San Francisco CA 2001
  • Location/Dislocation. Guerilla outdoor video projection. San Francisco CA 2001
  • Appointment Project. Performance and book. Bay Area CA 2000
  • Secret Box. Performance. Secrets exchanged in person & anonymously.
  • Hallwalls Gallery. Buffalo NY 1999
  • Anon Salon. San Francisco CA 1998

Curatorial Projects

Another Step Forwards, Walking Backwards.
Artists: Allissa Anderson, Matt Furie, Reggie Sparks, Minnette Lehmann.
Adobe Books. 2004

What We Saw When We Got There.
A show of conceptually based drawing, with ‘drawing’ defined in its broadest possible terms. The work is grounded in an investigation of place, yet are disparate in focus & content, ranging from digital projection & video to maps & architectural plans.
Co-curator: Michael Damm.
Artists: Nathan Burazer, Sarah Cain, Rita DiLorenzo, Amanda Eicher, Lucy Harvey, Amanda Hughen, Zoey Kroll, Albert Reyes, Jennifer Starkweather.
The LAB. 2003

Q: Where are you at? Q: Where is your drawing at?
A group drawing show without theme nor guiding hand. Work for sale during the exhibit’s opening night.
Co-curator: Michael Damm.
Forty artists participate
The LAB. 2003

4-in-1 Project Room.
An exhibition of four solo artists’ projects housed within one gallery space. The show proposes an alternative to the traditional theme show format by foregrounding the autonomy of each artists’ work, and opening up the possibility of overlapping readings while leaving that space unmediated.
The LAB. 2002

The LAB Foyer Program
Start a new project space that is to host a series of one person shows. Focus on artists at the beginning of their public careers.
Solo shows: Tohru Kanayama, Amy Rathbone, Jo Jackson, Sarah Cain, Darren Jenkins, Leslie Henslee.
The LAB. 2000-2002