Opening on February 15, 2007, David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Los Angeles-based artist Toba Khedoori. Khedoori had solo exhibitions at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, England (2001) and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1997). She has participated in many prestigious group exhibitions, including International 06, Liverpool Biennial: International Festival of Contemporary Art, Liverpool, England; Lo desacogedor: Escenas fantasmas en la sociedad global, La Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo de Sevilla, Seville, Spain; The Grand Promenade, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece (all 2006); Drawing from the Modern: 1975 - 2005, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (2005); and 26th Biennale di São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. Her work was selected for the 1995 Whitney Biennial at The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. This will be Khedoori's fourth solo exhibition at the gallery.
For this exhibition, the works range in size from approximately 6 ½ x 12 feet to 19 x 12 feet. Half of the works were made by initially priming large sheets of paper with a synthetic wax, which was scraped smooth with a razor blade then painted with oil paint. All of the works involve many preparatory sketches, usually drawn from photographs. Khedoori's sources for this group of works include fireplaces, holes, a wall with windows, logs, and crumpled paper–each isolated on the paper. She uses oil pant to meticulously delineate the forms and the finished works are stapled directly onto the wall.
In a departure from the past, Khedoori has made some works on both a dark ground and a white ground, of which Untitled (White Fireplace) and Untitled (Black Fireplace) are examples. A fireplace is surrounded by a dark encaustic background in one and a white background in the other. In Untitled (Windows), a dark gray encaustic background is pierced by rectangular windows. Untitled (Stick) depicts a single stick and its shadow leaning against a wall and measures over 11 x 6 1/2 feet. Perhaps one of the most intimate works is Untitled (Crumpled Paper), which shows three randomly crumpled pieces of paper, each the same size but with a different form.
With no trace of human presence, these half-conjured dwellings, or parts thereof, become strangely forensic traces of modern ruins, inexplicably conceived and abandoned. They speak of a surrender to time and memory, yet are vexingly placeless… Sometimes, the objects the artist depicts appear to simultaneously float and recede into the milky wilderness surrounding them, or reveal impossible shadows and perspectives that intentionally contradict laws of nature.
–Jane Harris, Vitamin D, 2005.