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Toba Khedoori
Installation view of an exhibition titled, Toba Khedoori, at the Fridericianum in Kassel, dated 2021.
Installation view, Toba Khedoori, Fridericianum, Kassel, 2021. Photo by Andrea Rossetti
Installation view, Toba Khedoori, Fridericianum, Kassel, 2021. Photo by Andrea Rossetti
Installation view of an exhibition titled, Toba Khedoori, at the Fridericianum in Kassel, dated 2021.
Installation view, Toba Khedoori, Fridericianum, Kassel, 2021. Photo by Andrea Rossetti
Installation view, Toba Khedoori, Fridericianum, Kassel, 2021. Photo by Andrea Rossetti
Installation view of an exhibition titled, Toba Khedoori, at the Fridericianum in Kassel, dated 2021.
Installation view, Toba Khedoori, Fridericianum, Kassel, 2021. Photo by Andrea Rossetti
Installation view, Toba Khedoori, Fridericianum, Kassel, 2021. Photo by Andrea Rossetti

Toba Khedoori’s first solo exhibition in Germany is now open at the Fridericianum in Kassel, on view from October 9, 2021, through February 20, 2022. Curated by Moritz Wesseler, this major survey presents twenty-three works created between 1994 and 2021.

The exhibition includes detailed drawings of ordinary motifs—from buildings and windows to grass, clouds, and horizons, among others—on large-scale sheets of paper treated with wax, as well as paintings on canvas that Khedoori began making in 2008. Considerably smaller than Khedoori’s works on paper, the paintings consider the tension between human beings and the natural world.

“The Australian artist with Iraqi roots develops a philosophy of the everyday in her impressive works painted with old-masterly precision…Toba Khedoori questions the philosophical foundations and individual and aesthetic preconditions of our perception and, above all, how we locate ourselves in this world,” noted Eva Claudia Scholtz, Executive Director of the Hessische Kulturstiftung.

To accompany the exhibition, the Fridericianum will also publish a catalogue featuring an essay by curator Mark Godfrey. Khedoori will present a solo exhibition at David Zwirner in New York in 2022, of which selected works are included in the Fridericianum show.

A detail from an untitled work by Toba Khedoori, dated 2019.

October 6, 2019–January 26, 2020

“Khedoori elevates the experience of the commonplace by treating ordinary objects and bits and pieces of nature as if they were precious baubles. Her attention to detail, her surrealist wit, and her appreciation for the magic of the everyday remind us to take stock of what surrounds us and to never be without a room of our own.” —Franklin Sirmans, curator of the recent Toba Khedoori retrospective at LACMA and Pérez Art Museum Miami in 2016–2017.

A large selection of works by Khedoori will be presented in a group exhibition titled Resonating Spaces, opening next month at Fondation Beyeler in Basel. Curated by Theodora Vischer and also featuring contributions by Leonor Antunes, Silvia Bächli, Susan Philipsz, and Rachel Whiteread, the show brings together works that “evoke spaces between the identifiable and the elusive. They create sites and respites, in which the capacity of remembering is elicited and images and memories come to life.”

Khedoori has been celebrated for more than two decades for mostly large scale paintings on paper in which visual understatement belies a powerful effect. The artist has created her own intricate atlas of objects and spaces—windows, doors, train compartments, natural forms, and horizon lines that are devoid of human presence and divorced from any background. Although over the last decade the artist made a series on medium-sized stretched canvases, she recently started focusing on large scale paintings on paper again, with compositions characterized by a tension between figure and ground. Khedoori’s precisely rendered imagery envelops the viewer's field of vision, appearing at once fragile and monumental, flat and illusory.

Image: Toba Khedoori, Untitled, 2019 (detail)

Traveling to the Pérez Art Museum in Miami (April 21–September 24, 2017) from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (September 25, 2016–March 19, 2017), Toba Khedoori was the artist's first museum survey exhibition in fifteen years.

Organized by Franklin Sirmans, former LACMA curator and head of contemporary art prior to his appointment as Director of the Pérez Art Museum, the exhibition surveyed over 20 years of Khedoori's work. Included were large-scale early works on paper, as well as oil paintings on canvas that the artist has been creating in recent years. For Sirmans, Khedoori's "attention to detail, her surrealist wit, and her appreciation for the magic of the everyday remind us to take stock of what surrounds us."

Read more: The exhibition was reviewed in the Miami Herald and the Los Angeles Times.

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