Toba Khedoori

Biography of Toba Khedoori

The delicate and ethereal works of Toba Khedoori portray floating objects dismembered from their environments, hanging listlessly yet intriguingly on wax-coated paper. Beautiful and haunting, a sense of expectation pervades her work that uses off center compositions and obsessive detail to create a disquieting atmosphere. Many critics cite Australian-born Khedoori as being a typically Californian artist, her work radiating a translucent ethereality so associated with artists from that region. 

By charging her works with intricate pockets of detail, Toba Khedoori encourages the viewer to make a close inspection of her work. But that intimacy is then subverted by the expansive whiteness of the waxed paper that then envelopes the viewers sight. Separated from any background, Khedoori's large-scale compositions appear both monumental and yet familiar. The artist coats her huge panels of paper in viscous emulsions of synthetic wax and scrapes them flat with a razor. Having first chosen an object, Khedoori photographs it repeatedly from various angles and only then does she begin to draw it. After a host of full-scale preparatory sketches she then transfers the image directly on to the paper with oil paint. Once finished the work is fixed to the wall. Chairs and stairs, fences and hallways, desks and building blueprints appear in a "neither-here-nor-there" presence—disconcerting spaces for meditation.

Born in Sydney, Australia, in 1964, Toba Khedoori is of Iraqi descent and graduated with a degree in fine art from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1994. Achieving international recognition at a young age, she participated in a host of group exhibitions including the 53rd Venice Biennale 2009, and the Liverpool Biennial in 2006. In 2002 Khedoori awarded the greatly prized MacArthur Fellowship.

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