Gerhardt Knodel

An Unexpected Guest: COVID-19

In drawings developed during the first few months of lockdown, the Chinese Ming flower served as an image that hovers over existence, a perfect metaphor for life. A series of 56 drawings began on February 21, one per day, each starting with the abstracted flower, a hothouse plant dependent on chance and care for survival, a metaphor for life in jeopardy. Spontaneous mark making began to reveal human portraits in the final two rows of Greenhouse drawings, and inspiration for several additional series that followed. 

56 Greenhouse Drawings, Ink and colored pencil on velum, photocopies of clips from NYTimes front page, Feb. 21-May 5, 2002, linen, gator board 104” X 82”

The COVID Effect on the Power of Flowers, Ink on velum, gator board, linen, Each 8 1/2’ X 8 1/2’

Doubletakes, Ink on velum, gator board, linen, Each 8 1/2” x 17 1/2”

The drawings also inspired curiosity about architectural housing for the drawings, places of remembrance, settings that enhance the expressive and emotional conditions inherent in the existence of the virus, conditions that might be memorialized to serve future generations.

Three Reliquaries For Life Between February 21 and May 5, 2020

Reliquary For Hidden Truth 1 - Maquette, 40” x 30” x 30”

Reliquary for Hidden Truth 2 - Maquette, 47’ x 25” x 25’

Reliquary for Hidden Truth 3 - Maquette, 28” x 24” x 24”

© 2023
Gerhardt Knodel