2nd November, Fine Art: Painting. 'Altered Spaces'. Toba Khedoori.

Khedoori’s conceptually charged paintings on paper have a monumental scale that contradicts the reticent manner in which they are deployed. Taken from the urban environment, her subjects are typically isolated architectural structures or details. Always familiar to the viewer – windows, doors, stairways, paths, benches – they may be considered the building blocks of the social world.


The delicately rendered images in Khedoori’s 11’ x 20’ drawings appear to pop out of nowhere and then to disappear into nothingness, triggering similar existential reflection as your eyes glide across their imperfect, wax-coated surfaces that are randomly interspersed with smudges, hand-prints and short strands of dog hair. Somewhat haphazardly stapled to the wall, these impersonal yet engaging pictures are located at the intersection between grand gestures and utter inconsequentiality. Khedoori’s works consist of a pretty sensible blend of ambition and humility, where desire mingles with restraint. For viewers, it’s impossible to determine from which distance these huge yet weirdly intimate drawings demand to be seen. You don’t know whether you should come in close and get lost in the uncountable details the artist has painted with mind-numbing sensuousness, or if you should stand back to try to take in a more objective, overall view of the big picture.

Khedoori packs a lot of sentiment into thoughtful, deceptively simple compositions that resonate in your memory long after you’ve stopped looking at them. Her resoundingly quiet and profoundly still subjects always imply activity, movement and progress, if only momentarily.



"I often struggle with feeling the need to fill the entirety of a canvas, page, or any space. Khedoori's work shows the possibilities that arise when blank space is left alone. Sometimes the emptiness can be as powerful and purposeful or even more so than filling it up with colors/textures/images. There is a beautiful simplicity to her work. An objective yet memorable and personal look into objects we encounter on a daily basis. With space comes power." 




© Harriet Grace Abbott, all rights reserved