When he started making art in the 1970s, David Knopp studied representational life drawing. Perhaps that’s one reason his benches resemble sculpted, reclining anthropomorphic forms. Composed of laminated plywood, which creates an intoxicating two-tone pattern, Mellow (2021) and the rest of his furniture portfolio balance the line between furniture and sculpture as equally beautiful forms and functional objects.
Location: COH Level 5 Balcony
David Knopp, b. 1950
Baltic Birch plywood
86 x 28.5 x 19 in.
Knopp begins by gluing together many layers of plywood into a large block of material. He then carves, sands, and chisels—think Michelangelo sweating over a block of Carrara marble—away at the material to reveal the form underneath. For Knopp, this process is intuitive and responsive to the aesthetic qualities of a line rather than three-dimensional form. He writes, “A single line can express gesture and movement, direction and depth on a flat surface...I create flowing, liquid lines that engage the senses as the eye travels over the contours of my objects.”
Mellow is composed of Baltic Birch plywood and, at 80-inches long, intended to comfortably seat four adults. The symmetrical design, coated in a Polyurethane wood finish to enhance the natural grain, metaphorically alludes to a wide variety of objects, ranging from an infinity symbol to a human vertebrae.
A lifelong resident of Baltimore, David Knopp studied at Essex Community College and Towson University. Knopp’s work has been exhibited at the Baltimore Museum of Art, appeared in the HBO series Veep, and is part of the permanent collection of the American Visionary Art Museum. A member of the Washington Sculptors Group, Knopp is the recipient of several awards, including one from the Maryland State Art Council.
About Capital One Center
Capital One Center, the public-facing portion of Capital One’s global headquarters in Tysons, Virginia, redefines mixed-use development by providing an arts-focused enriching indoor/outdoor experience. When fully built-out, this 6 million sq. foot entertainment destination will be home to a vibrant array of public art, performances, and retail, including a world-class performing arts center, Capital One Hall, a 2.5 acre skypark, The Perch, and 300-key boutique hotel, The Watermark. Capital One Center is thoughtfully designed to create a walkable campus where small steps lead to big experiences.