at The University of Chicago
Visit our new site for all current information.

John Knight

October 02 – November 09, 1983

John Knight
Installation View,
The Renaissance Society, 1983
Each of John Knight's works assumes a different form, although all have been the result of consistent ideas and goals. Museotypes, the work conceived for his Renaissance Society exhibition, is comprised of sixty bone-china dinner plates. Presented like a series of limited edition commemorative plates, standard china, gold-trim, 10 1/2 inch, eggshell-colored plates serve as the background for regal purple-blue images of architectural floor plans. Each floor plan, silk-screened and overglazed in the center of the plate, belongs to a different museum. The plans of each museum convey individual, formal eccentricities, but as a group they present a generalized appearance.

Knight has not represented the particular museums by their most familiar image--a literal rendition of the facade of each one, for example--as might appear on actual commemorative plates. Instead, the abstract configuration of the floor plan serves as a ready-made code or symbol whose concentrated form also identiifies it with the contemporary emblematic trademark design, or corporate logotype. Over the last several decades, the corporate trademark has become a commonplace of industry, an aggressive marketing strategy aimed at instant product visibility. In Museotypes Knight fuses various visual but specifically non-art traditions in order to questions and revalidate contemporary art practice.


The Renaissance Society
is a contemporary art
museum free and
open to the public
Thu  Jun 13, 2024