Victoria Miro is delighted to participate in Frieze Los Angeles with a solo booth of new paintings, sculptures and works on paper by Idris Khan, who will be present at the fair with the gallery.
Idris Khan is acclaimed for works in a variety of media that inhabit the space between abstraction and figuration, and speak to themes of history, cumulative experience and the metaphysical collapse of time into single, cohesive moments. Questions of repetition and superimposition have always been central to Khan's practice. The sustained act of repeating and layering texts, images or musical notation–meditative, at times even cathartic for the artist–invites a range of corresponding responses from the viewer. It is in this contemplative space that both the processes of Minimalist art and allusions to the role of repetition in the world's major religions are brought into focus–as a vehicle for transcendence and a conduit of the sublime.
New works on view at Frieze LA include a number of 'Large Rhythm Paintings', in which sheet music is taken as a starting point. Sharply masking out areas of musical notation with passages of gestural blue oil paint, Khan leaves visible only selected elements of the original, including its dynamics and articulation marks such as the 'brace'–a sinuous line connecting two or more staves of music that are played simultaneously on keyboard instruments. If music can be thought of sound organised into time, and musical notation a further attempt to schematise the ephemeral, in these works Khan speaks eloquently of the essential duality between music as rational, written form and unquantifiable experience, at the same time creating new compositions with their own internal rhythms and expressiveness. For the artist, the significance of the colour blue, meanwhile, lies in how 'it can have an immediate effect on emotion. I think it can have a positive or negative effect on the eye.'
In November 2019, a major public work by the artist was unveiled at One Blackfriars in London. Titled 65,000 Photographs, the monumental sculpture refers to Khan's personal archive of images from the past six years. The sculpture represents the volume of photography in the modern age and draws attention to the almost forgotten art of photographic printing in our ever more digitised world. Cast in aluminium, the textured surface of the sculpture echoes the delicate edges of each photographic print. Together, these lines create a dynamic rhythm that relates closely to the artist's other works, in which lines are repeated and overlaid to arrive at what might be considered the essence of an image and to create something entirely new. On view is 65,000 Photographs (Maquette), 2019, which is created using jesmonite. Abstract and minimalist in appearance, it is, like its monumental counterpart, a work that compresses a mass of personal imagery and functions asa kind of self-portrait. At the same time, it reframes the idea of the modernist monument as a site for contemplation, encouraging viewers to reflect on their own archives of images and the delicacy of time. Equally personal is the sculpture my mother, 59 years (2019). To produce this work, the artist compiled every printed photograph he could find of his late mother (around 360) to form an abstract monument that collapses memory and time into a singular column.
Additional works include a series of 'White Window' collages, which expand on the artist's celebrated 'White Window' works. Over the past few years, Khan has recorded the marks and gestures made by the anonymous people who use white paint to obscure the windows of businesses that have closed down around the UK and in Europe. Superimposing these simple acts of obfuscation, Khan introduces additional elements, offering a social and political counterpoint to the deeply personal works on view.
About the artist
Born in Birmingham in 1978, Idris Khan completed his Master's Degree at the Royal College of Art and lives and works in London. The survey exhibition Idris Khan: A World Within was held at The New Art Gallery Walsall in February 2017, with solo presentations of the artist's work previously staged at national and international institutional venues including the Whitworth Gallery, University of Manchester (2016–2017 and 2012); Sadler's Wells, London (2011); Gothenburg Konsthall, Sweden (2011); Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto (2010); Kunsthaus Murz, Murzzuschlag, Austria (2010) and K20, Düsseldorf (2008). His work has also been included in group shows at the National Gallery of Art, Washington (2015); Bass Museum of Art, Miami (2014–2015); Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2014); Jeude Paume, Paris (2013); Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, Florida (2013); The British Museum, London (2012); National Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo (2012); Fundament Foundation, Tilburg (2011); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010); and Martin-Gropius Bau, Berlin (2009).
Commissions include a wall drawing commissioned by the British Museum in 2012 for its exhibition Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam. In addition, for the duration of the exhibition, Khan's monumental floor installation, Seven Times, was installed in the museum's Great Court. Also in 2012, The New York Times Magazine commissioned Khan to create a new body of work for its London issue. Focusing on the capital's most iconic buildings and structures, Khan's image of the London Eye featured on the cover. Khan's major commission for a permanent public monument, forming the centrepiece of the new Memorial Park in Abu Dhabi, was unveiled for UAE Commemoration Day in November 2016. In 2017, it received an American Architecture Prize. Khan's 21 Stones is currently displayed in The Albukhary Foundation Islamic Gallery, which recently opened at the British Museum, London. 21 Stones is the British Museum's first site-specific artwork. A major new public sculpture for London by Khan, commissioned by St George's Plc with London Borough of Southwark as part of the development of One Blackfriars, was unveiled in autumn 2019.
Idris Khan was appointed OBE for services to Art in the Queen's Birthday 2017 Honours List.
Paramount Pictures Studios
5400 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles,
CA 90038, United States
2020 Opening Hours
Main Tent & Backlot:
Thursday Preview, February 13 (Invitation only)
Friday Preview & Private View, February 14:
check your ticket/invitation
Saturday, February 15: 11am - 7pm
Sunday, February 16: 11am - 6pm