Gerhardt Knodel has been associated with the development of contemporary work in textiles for more than four decades. Early studies at UCLA and California State University inspired his interest in generating new applications for textiles in architecture. Opportunities to design for the theater further inspired ideas as to ways that fabric could be used to expressively shape interior spaces in both domestic and commercial environments.
Simultaneous with building numerous commissioned works in the United States, he explored the expressive nature of textiles within the context of art, producing a large body of work that has been exhibited extensively in many parts of the world.
For 25 years he led the graduate program in Fibers at Cranbrook Academy of Art, working with many of this country’s most outstanding artists and designers, and in 1995 began a twelve year involvement at Cranbrook as director of the academy.
In 2007 he returned to full time studio practice with game playing strategies that allowed him to freely extend his interests in exploring new dimensions of textiles and their vital relationship with people throughout time.
His unfettered interest in discovery continues, supported with significant recognition by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Japan-American Friendship Fellowship, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The James Renwick Alliance, the State of Michigan, and the Gold Medal awarded by the American Craft Council.