Toba Khedoori
© Toba Khedoori

The poem "Untitled" (Seats) by Toba Khedoori: Four Takes was commissioned by the Walker Art Center in association with the exhibition Toba Khedoori.

Toba Khedoori
August 10-November 2, 1997

This exhibition marked the first solo museum showing of work by this young, Los Angeles-based artist. Khedoori's large-scale paintings--executed in oil and wax on paper--present fragmentary images drawn from the world of architecture positioned within vast expanses of luminous, textured surfaces. Though her images are recognizable, Khedoori's manipulation of scale and perspective lends the paintings a subtle distortion. Alternating between interior and exterior views depicted from varying perspectives, Khedoori's imagery suggests an implied yet absent human presence in both the domestic sphere and the external world of public space.

For this exhibition, Khedoori created five new paintings, refining and extending her previous work. Departing from the conventions of painting, Khedoori creates her works on enormous sheets of white paper, which she first lays out on her studio floor and coats with layers of translucent wax. The scale reflects the artist's desire to stretch the boundaries of painting closer to installation work, and the wax lends texture and luminosity to the grounds of the paintings even as it traps bits of dirt, dust, and stray pet hairs. After stapling the coated paper to the wall, the artist paints in oil directly onto the wax. Any changes that occur during the process of creation remain visible as portions of underpainting, imparting additional ambiguity and a sense of the artist's gesture to the images.

Toba Khedoori was born in 1964 in Sydney, Australia, and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Her work has recently been exhibited at DESTE Foundation and Athens School of Fine Arts in Athens, Greece, and was included in the 1995 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Toba Khedoori was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. The full-color catalogue includes essays by exhibition curator Elizabeth A.T. Smith and architectural historian Anthony Vidler.

This exhibition was made possible in part by Mitsui Fudosan (USA), Inc. Toba Khedoori was supported in part by the Pasadena Art Alliance, The MOCA Curators' Council, and H. Tony and Marti Oppenheimer.

Curator: Elizabeth A.T. Smith, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Walker coordinating curator: Siri Engberg