Idris Khan

14 Oct 2016 – 19 Mar 2017

The Whitworth

Greater Manchester, United Kingdom


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Idris Khan draws inspiration from the history of art, music, philosophy and theology, laying and manipulating images and text in a conversation around memory, experience and society.


Focusing on the mediums of painting, drawing and photography this exhibition will present several of the artists recent seminal works including Eternal Movement (2011), commissioned for Sadler’s Wells Dance House, inspired by Muslim religious texts, and evoking part of the Hajj pilgrimage where devotees walk back and forth seven times between two mountains near Mecca; The Rite of Spring (2013), created from layering photographs together of the entire score of Stravinsky’s controversial masterpiece; Beginning or End (2013), a meditation on Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy and the cyclical nature of life and existence, created using black gesso and ink; and Death of Painting (2014), a series of five oil works on paper. Inspired by Kasimir Malevich's iconic and influential black square painting, Khan composed his own very different black square paintings by writing a text with thick oil sticks over and over again on paper. The artist will also create a new monumental wall drawing within the gallery space.

This is Khan’s second exhibition at the Whitworth, in 2012 he exhibited The Devil’s Wall (2011) three large, black, cylindrical sculptures, with selected texts from the Quran in Arabic and English, and a series of drawings, 21 Stones. All these works were created in reference to the ritual stoning of the Jamarat (a pillar representing the devil), which is an important part of the Hajj pilgrimage.

Exhibiting artists

Idris Khan


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