Idris Khan After… at Sean Kelly, New York

Idris Khan Studio © Idris Khan Courtesy: the artist and Sean Kelly, New York/Los Angeles
Art Martin Cid Magazine
Art Martin Cid Magazine

Sean Kelly is pleased to present After…, Idris Khan’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, March 14, 6-8 pm. The artist will be present. This presentation coincides with his first major museum exhibition in the US at the Milwaukee Art Museum, opening to the public on April 5.

After… showcases several exciting developments in Khan’s practice. The exhibition introduces a process whereby the artist deconstructs art historical masterpieces to rich pallets of color, referencing the volume and importance of the original painting’s power.

Khan’s newest explorations focus on color and music, and their abilities to contain a world of memories, associations, and emotions which resonate on a universal level. Utilizing technology as complex as it is sensitive and poetic, Khan scans photographic reproductions of these artworks into a sound software that reveals their tone and color density. He then creates separate oil and water-based ink works with the dimensions of each color corresponding to the percentage in which it appears in the original painting. Each artwork is comprised of a grid-like structure of individually framed elements denoting the original work’s specific color palette. Khan also assigns musical notations to each hue and transcribes them to create a score for each painting. The panels are repeatedly stamped, in Khan’s signature style, with each works distinctive notation and overlaid with collaged sheet music, carefully selected for its shape and pattern. With this new body of work, Khan moves from representing a collapse in time to making evident the soundscape of each masterpiece. After… takes as its source iconic paintings so familiar that they now form part of the collective unconscious, including Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Johannes Vermeer’s The Milkmaid, and his Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window.

Idris Khan’s oeuvre draws on diverse cultural sources–literature, history, art, and music–to shape a distinctive narrative featuring densely layered images that metaphysically condense time into single moments. After… marks an important evolution in Idris Khan’s artistic practice and pays homage to the twentieth anniversary of Every…, Khan’s MFA exhibition from the Royal College of Art in London. It signifies a compelling shift in Khan’s artistic paradigm, inviting viewers to take a nuanced and multi-level approach to how they perceive a work of art. The exhibition includes a selection of new oil and water-based ink works and gesso on aluminum panel paintings, for which Khan is known, incorporating into the work a striking new palette.

Idris Khan’s first US museum solo exhibition, Repeat After Me, opens at the Milwaukee Art Museum on April 5, 2024. Featuring major works covering every facet of Khan’s career, the exhibition includes new works that respond directly to paintings in the museum’s permanent collection. The exhibition will be on view through August 11, 2024.

Idris Khan lives and works in London, United Kingdom. His work has been the subject of major solo exhibitions at international institutions, including Chateau la Coste, France; The New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, UK; the Whitworth Gallery, the University of Manchester, UK; Gothenburg Konsthall, Sweden; the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto, Canada; Kunsthaus Murz, Mürzzuschlag, Austria, and K20, Dusseldorf, Germany. Khan’s design for Abu Dhabi’s memorial park, Wahat Al Karama, was awarded the 2017 American Architecture Prize, and he was appointed an OBE for services to Art in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honors List. His work is in the permanent collections of many institutions worldwide, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Albright-Knox Museum, New York; The British Museum, London; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach, FL; the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel; the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the de Young Museum, San Francisco; and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France.

For additional information on Idris Khan, please visit

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