Portraits & Passages

Chapter 32

Gain an understanding of what the future holds for you by contemplating the effect of your life upon others. If your influence and example are good; then  you are without blame. This, you will find is its own reward. - I Ching

self pieta my song tells you copy 35

Knight Landesman: A Rendezvous with Artforum   

I had been taking out pages in “Artforum” for about six years but never visited their offices in New York. So early in 2002 it was suggested that I meet up with the  folks in advertising who were going to the Chicago Art Fair in May. I had already spent time with Knight Landesman in Berlin and Cologne where we had a blast  getting to know each other. But I had not yet met Danielle McConnell until the Thursday opening. The next morning on coming back from an early walk I met  them in the hotel lobby and was immediately invited to join them on their rounds of the Chicago galleries.

I remember when we were in Donald Young’s there was a huge Sol Lewitt covering the back wall of a vast wooden beamed space. Knight as usual was  wearing an orange-colored silk suit, and as we were waiting for him by the entrance desk he crossed the opening of that huge space silhouetted by the Lewit.

Earlier we had met up with a friend with a camera. Seeing the potential shots I asked Knight to reenter the space as his orange suit was a perfect compliment  before the red and mint green of the painting. Well, Knight sort of went in but not really as deep into the room as he could. I waved him to go further, but I guess  Knight isn’t used to being directed and just made a shallow circuit and started to exit it.

I made a disappointed face: “Ouch. He’s so uncooperative! It would have been such a nice shot. Tch!”

Danielle’s eyes turned to instant alarm. I’m not entirely sure for what I might do or for what Knight might. However, there was nothing for me to do but follow with:  “Now, if that were me…”  “You’d milk it for all it was worth.” “Yep.” I laughed and a twinkle came back to my face along with relief in Danielle’s. Knight came back seemingly unaware.

The following morning at an early breakfast we shared before he caught a cab to the airport, Knight wondered what the future held for us: “Richard, do you think in  five or ten years we will be still doing what we do now… that you will still be painting, and that I will still be running “Artforum”?”

Somnambulists (detail, Marta), 1966


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