Mark Armijo McKnight
with James Ensor
09.06.2023 – 22.07.2023
Paul Soto is pleased to announce a two-venue exhibition of new photographs by Mark Armijo McKnight titled Posthume. The exhibition will take place across our Los Angeles location and Brussels annex, La Maison de Rendez-Vous. Mark Armijo McKnight: Posthume will open in Los Angeles on Saturday, June 3 with a public reception for the artist from 5 to 8pm. The following week, Mark Armijo McKnight with James Ensor: Posthume will open in Brussels on Friday, June 9 with a public reception from 16 to 19h. An essay by the artist and writer Chris Wiley accompanies the exhibition and will be available at the gallery. This is Armijo McKnight’s 2nd exhibition with the gallery.
Posthume: French for «posthumous,» meaning «after death» (derived from the the Latin “post-humus,» or «after earth»)
Mark Armijo McKnight makes photographs that explore new possibilities for how to picture queer subjecthood. The artist expands upon the history of 20th Century photography, in particular the American Landscape tradition. Shooting primarily in the high desert of his Southern California youth, Armijo McKnight works with site as a stage and a presence unto itself, animating the landscape and his subjects in existential, psychological, and spiritual ways.
Armijo McKnight’s two-venue exhibition, Posthume, comprises a new body of intimately scaled black-and-white gelatin silver photographs. In his materially rich and saturated pictures, nude figures adorning skulls traverse across and lie amidst barren landscapes. For the Los Angeles exhibition, the artist couples images of these figures with those of solitary, skeletal trees, suggesting memento mori of body and landscape alike. In the Brussels gallery, these works are hung alongside the Belgian artist James Ensor’s 1888 etching, “Skulls and Masks.” Ensor’s fascination with mortality and the carnivalesque here informs Armijo McKnight’s depictions. The two suggest the persistence of desire through and beyond death.
Mark Armijo McKnight (b. 1984, Los Angeles, USA) currently lives and works in New York, NY. His work has been exhibited at Kendall Koppe Gallery, Glasgow; Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, New York; Park View / Paul Soto, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson; K11 Musea, Hong Kong; The Mistake Room, Los Angeles; Aperture Foundation, New York City; and the California Museum of Photography, Riverside, among others. His works are in the public collections of Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; 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. In 2023 McKnight was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship.