Sonja Knecht

Sonja Knecht works with the materiality of language. She experiments with the interplay of sound, form, and content, guided by her linguistic findings. Rhythm, repetition, and seriality play a major role in her work.

stop this, 2021. Handwritten in Faber-Castell Pink with a Pelikan fountain pen. Published in ToCall Magazine No. 15, 06/2021

Using words or verses as starting material, she explores their verbal and visual possibilities. What's inside a word? What does the arrangement, what does the shape of a verse do to its content? Do new layers of meaning emerge? Does something change when we look closer, and try again, differently?

Writing as an experimental practice, and especially handwriting is important to Sonja Knecht. She uses classic tools as the analogue typewriter and (mostly for preliminary studies) the computer, but also built letters and a drawing form of writing, “sketch writing”, zeichnendes Schreiben, as she calls it.

In the Schwanenwerder house finally there is time for her experiments, says the artist. Here she finds peace. She enjoys her island walks and the view over the lake, “everyday different”. In addition to the technique she uses, such as her automatic writing, she notes that “automatically” an artistic movement also sets in, stimulated by the place and space.

Sometimes Sonja Knecht in her processes arrives at a completely different point than initially imagined. Sometimes content and form play together, sometimes they seem to contradict each other; in both cases the effect intensifies. Her text art is a game of trial and error with an open outcome.

“What I absolutely need for writing,” says Sonja Knecht, “I have thought so, but only really felt it here: I need an empty house. A space without distractions, and, very importantly, a certain bareness. There must be as few things around me as possible.” For her, the silence of winter amplifies this effect – and her productivity.

hör auf // stop it, 2021. Typewritten on an Olympia Splendid 66
Die besten Texte // The best texts, 2016. Poster 50×70 cm, typeface Schmale Fanfare (from 1927), wooden letters, printed on a Korrex proof press Berlin Kraft Spezial (text Sonja Knecht, typography Ferdinand Ulrich, photo Norman Posselt for P98a, Berlin)

Sonja Knecht's visual-verbal exhibition and readings are expected to take place at the end of February 2022.


Due to the pandemic, the closing event will take place on 18 and 19 June 2022 – reading and more with Sonja Knecht. Detailed information: Invitation to the work show and lecture performance