John Knight: Hard Labor


John Knight is a Montana-based conceptual artist and independent curator. His work is site-specific and concerned with the intersection of architecture, design, and class. Knight recently presented a solo project internationally at BSMNT Gallery in Leipzig, Germany; and is planning an exhibition with Final Hot Desert in London, England for 2023. In the United States, he has exhibited solo and two-person projects at: GCADD in Granite City, Illinois; Window Mine in Reno, Nevada; Muscle Beach in Portland, Oregon; the American Institute of Thoughts and Feelings in Tucson, Arizona; and Julius Caesar in Chicago. Upcoming exhibitions include a solo presentation at the Northcutt Steele Gallery at Montana State University-Billings at the end 2022; and a two-person exhibition with Libby Rothfeild at Apparatus projects in Chicago in 2023. He was the 2021 Curator-in-Residence with Open AIR Residency in western Montana.

Artist Statement:

JK: I am a conceptual artist interested in exploring the intersection of architecture, design, class, and histories of paintings in my work. I accomplish my work by using painting, sculpture, and photography as tools to make projects in site-specific installations. I use painting, photography, and other traditional art forms as a framework to study color and form, and its relationship to various sites. Sculpture is also utilized in my practice with found materials and ready-made objects in response to the sites I exhibit in. 


1 Theorized by the Situationist Guy Debord in the text “Theory of the Dérive” (1956), the dérive is a revolutionary strategy and mode of experimental behavior linked conditions found in urban society. It is an unplanned journey through landscapes in which asks participants to drop their everyday relations to place in favor of being attracted to and engaged in chance encounters with an environment. The goal of the dérive is to study the terrain of the environment or landscape. When I first moved to Montana, the only job I could find was driving food delivery. During this time, I worked most days of the week, for ten-hour stretches to generate enough capital to pay my debts and bills. The dérive was a tool that I used to interrogate my relationship to the urban landscape of Missoula, Montana. These journeys were performed on the clock, as an anti-capitalist gesture, under the context of generating capital for the large delivery conglomerate that I independently contracted for. A series of photographs taken on a point and shoot camera document these early journeys in western Montana.

See John’s work on his website:

The works created for this exhibition have been funded in part by the Montana Arts Council’s American Rescue Plan Act funding.
Montana Arts Council

The Curator

Since 2018 Jenny Bevill has worked as a collaborative curator bringing unique art projects to life in informal spaces around Montana. Her first project was the Scream Room (with artist Kylin O’Brien and ImagineIF Libraries in Kalispell) and her most recent was the Soundscape at Limnal Lacrimosa (with artist Mary Mattingly and KALICO Art Center in Kalispell). Jenny served as the Educator and Outreach Specialist at the Missoula Art Museum from 2018-2021. Prior to moving to Montana, Jenny spent a decade as a lead teaching artist at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

Other Exhibitions