b. 1978, United Kingdom

Idris Khan Artworks

Through a variety of media such as sculpture, painting, and photography, Idris Khan's work explores the layering of methods, experience and meaning. Drawing from a variety of source material ranging from art and music to theology and philosophy, Kahn creates new forms and concepts through superimposition and augmentation.

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While the artist sees his practice as been situated in the medium of painting, he often uses photomechanical techniques of reproduction. He often scans and photographs his source material and meticulously manipulates their qualities to achieve a certain intensity, sometimes creating ethereal C-prints in the process.

In the past, he has photographed or scanned secondary source material to create works such as every... page of the Quran (2004), Struggling to Hear.... After Ludwig van Beethoven Sonatas (2005), and every... William Turner postcard from Tate Britain (2004). The source material is as reflected in the title of these works.

Sculpture

Khan has also branched into sculpture, sometimes sandblasting texts, prayers, and scores onto steel plates and slabs to interrogate how cultural and historical material can be joined together through objects.

His honeycomb and carbon sculpture Cell (2017) takes inspiration from Saydnaya, Syria's most brutal prison. This towering four-metre tall sculpture reflects on solitary confinement and the spaces that inmates occupy. Composed of 15 columns, Khan's sculpture looks almost impenetrable, but upon closer inspection, the viewer catches a glimmer of hope as light is allowed to pass through its cracks.

Public commissions

In 2016, Khan designed the 42,000 m2 memorial sculpture at Abu Dhabi's most prominent landmark, Wahat Al Karama. This massive sculpture, designed to reference unity and honour soldiers of the UAE, is composed of 20,000 cubic meters of concrete, over 5,000 tonnes of steel, and over 120km of cables. It contains seven aluminum-encased steel tablets etched with poetry written by emirs of the country.

In 2019, Khan completed a public sculpture project in London by St. George City Ltd in collaboration with London Borough of Southwark. The eight-metre aluminium sculpture, 65,0000 Photographs, is composed of stacks of metal sheets in the same size as photographic prints increasing in size.

Browse Artworks
The Eyes of the Past by Idris Khan contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, sculpture, drawing
Idris Khan The Eyes of the Past, 2022 Oil based ink on gesso ground, aluminium panel
141 x 130 x 2.5 cm
Sean Kelly Contact Gallery
Rooms Are Never Finished by Idris Khan contemporary artwork painting
Idris Khan Rooms Are Never Finished, 2015 Ink on white gesso and aluminium
233.7 x 229.9 cm
Sean Kelly Contact Gallery
Quartet by Idris Khan contemporary artwork painting, print
Idris Khan Quartet, 2019 Gesso and oil stick on black and white fibre print mounted on aluminium panel
77 x 53 x 15 cm
Galerie Thomas Schulte Contact Gallery
Quartet by Idris Khan contemporary artwork painting, print
Idris Khan Quartet, 2019 Gesso and oil stick on black and white fibre print mounted on aluminium panel
79 x 54 x 4 cm (incl frame)
Galerie Thomas Schulte Contact Gallery
65,000 Photographs (Maquette) by Idris Khan contemporary artwork sculpture
Idris Khan 65,000 Photographs (Maquette), 2019 Jesmonite and steel armature
99 x 15 x 11 cm
Galerie Thomas Schulte Contact Gallery
Time Signature by Idris Khan contemporary artwork painting
Idris Khan Time Signature, 2020 Oil based ink on gesso and aluminium panel
252 x 175 x 2.5 cm
Sean Kelly Contact Gallery
My Mother by Idris Khan contemporary artwork sculpture
Idris Khan My Mother, 2019 Jesmonite, pigment, fixings
21 x 10 x 8 inches
Victoria Miro Contact Gallery
65,000 Photographs (Maquette) by Idris Khan contemporary artwork sculpture
Idris Khan 65,000 Photographs (Maquette), 2019 Jesmonite and steel armature
100 x 21 x 21 cm
Victoria Miro Contact Gallery
White Window; June 2015 - December 2017 by Idris Khan contemporary artwork print
Idris Khan White Window; June 2015 - December 2017, 2019 Bromide print
145.6 x 120 cm
Sean Kelly Contact Gallery
White Window; April 2017 - January 2019 by Idris Khan contemporary artwork print
Idris Khan White Window; April 2017 - January 2019, 2019 Bromide print
127 x 102 cm
Galerie Thomas Schulte Contact Gallery
White Window; July 2015 - August 2018 by Idris Khan contemporary artwork print
Idris Khan White Window; July 2015 - August 2018, 2019 Bromide print
63.5 x 50.8 cm
Galerie Thomas Schulte Contact Gallery
White Window; September 2015 - October 2018 by Idris Khan contemporary artwork print
Idris Khan White Window; September 2015 - October 2018, 2019 Bromide print
60.96 x 50.8 cm
Galerie Thomas Schulte Contact Gallery
White Window; September 2016 - May 2018 by Idris Khan contemporary artwork photography
Idris Khan White Window; September 2016 - May 2018, 2019 Bromide print
127 x 101.6 cm
Galerie Thomas Schulte Contact Gallery
White Window; June 2015 - December 2017 by Idris Khan contemporary artwork photography
Idris Khan White Window; June 2015 - December 2017, 2019 Bromide print
127 x 102 cm
Galerie Thomas Schulte Contact Gallery
White Window; August 2017 - July 2018 by Idris Khan contemporary artwork photography
Idris Khan White Window; August 2017 - July 2018, 2019 Bromide print
127 x 101.6 cm
Galerie Thomas Schulte Contact Gallery
Rough Seas by Idris Khan contemporary artwork mixed media
Idris Khan Rough Seas, 2018 3 glass sheets stamped with white oil-based ink, aluminium, rubber
165 x 140 x 18 cm
Sold
Galerie Thomas Schulte
Moments of Calm by Idris Khan contemporary artwork mixed media
Idris Khan Moments of Calm, 2018 With red oil based ink stamped glass, on gessoed aluminium panel
83 x 77 x 9 cm
Sold
Galerie Thomas Schulte
Rhythms 4 by Idris Khan contemporary artwork painting
Idris Khan Rhythms 4, 2016 9 parts work, oil on paper and canvas
31 x 23.5 cm
Galerie Thomas Schulte Contact Gallery
Rhythms 1 by Idris Khan contemporary artwork painting
Idris Khan Rhythms 1, 2016 Set of 11 unique works, oil on paper and canvas
31 x 23.5 cm
Galerie Thomas Schulte Contact Gallery
A Field Of Dust by Idris Khan contemporary artwork print
Idris Khan A Field Of Dust, 2015 Digital bromide mounted on aluminium
20 x 24 inches
Sold
Galerie Thomas Schulte
Conflicting Lines by Idris Khan contemporary artwork print
Idris Khan Conflicting Lines, 2015 Digital print on aluminium
165 x 195 cm
Galerie Thomas Schulte Contact Gallery
Beginning or End by Idris Khan contemporary artwork drawing
Idris Khan Beginning or End, 2012 Wall drawing oil based ink emulsion
Galerie Thomas Schulte Contact Gallery
Residue 6 (Ear to the wall) by Idris Khan contemporary artwork mixed media
Idris Khan Residue 6 (Ear to the wall), 2017 stamped paper soaked in wax, plexiglass and plinth
Sean Kelly Contact Gallery
Conflicting Lines by Idris Khan contemporary artwork painting
Idris Khan Conflicting Lines, 2015 digital C-print on aluminum
65 x 76.75 inches
Sean Kelly Contact Gallery
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