Zehra Khan: Your Everyday Myths

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

Your Everyday Myths presents the uncanny, humorous, and multidisciplinary works of artist Zehra Khan.

The exhibition displays two bodies of work, large scale drawings on bed sheets and photographs of drawings on people. Both series engage a non-traditional approach to mark making on alternative surfaces. The quotidian bed sheet that typically wraps and holds the sleepy body connects to the corporal, domestic, and intimate. Working on both sides of the sheet Khan moves the pieces from two-dimensional to three-dimensional, from collage to malleable multilayered sculpture. By painting on the actual body, an initial act of performance to end up in still photographic form, Khan transforms her human friends into animals, protagonists who cavort and play with cathartic freedom. These human to animal manifestations also illustrate dichotomies of the hazards and good of human relationships between friends, intimates, and life partners.

Zehra Khan’s work participates in home making traditions and nods to traditional textiles. She simultaneously subverts the craft by using informal mass-produced materials, like hot glue or permanent marker. In effect false dichotomies of luxury and austerity, art and craft, and form and function prevail. Khans adorning of medium to surface challenges perceptions of women’s work and the craft culture of her heritage: pioneer American and pattern heavy Pakistan.

In today’s age of mass consumption and environmental doom, Zehra Khan refreshingly repurposes material, relaying the possibility that artists do not have to spend top dollar on traditional supplies to make work. Khan’s visual breadth – drawing, painting, text, sculpture, installation, and performance is powerfully apparent in this exhibition. By reinventing subject and media, Khan reflects a playful sense of humor, and perhaps more importantly, the deeper meaning of being in our collective consciousness.

– Megan Hinton, Curator

This exhibition is sponsored in part by Seamen’s Bank, one of our community partners.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Zehra Khan is a multidisciplinary artist whose work includes drawing, sculpture, performance, and painting—the latter often on her fellow humans. Always playful, often absurdist and provocative, Khan uses unconventional and found materials and methods to explore relationships—those between individuals as well as those between humans and the flora and fauna of the world around us.

Khan is American and Pakistani, born in Indonesia. She lived in Paris and Switzerland before moving to the US at age eleven. Zehra received a BS from Skidmore College, and an MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown in 2009.

She has been awarded art residencies at Yaddo, the Studios of Key West, Ox-Bow, I-Park, the Vermont Studio Center, Art Space Sonahmoo in Korea, and most recently Space A in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Zehra is a current participant of the NYC Drawing Center Viewing Program and the deCordova Museum Corporate Lending Program. She authored a children’s book “A Sunny Day for Flowers”, and contributed artwork to “The Resistance Coloring & Activity Book.”

Khan moved from the East Coast to Chicago in 2018, where she is a member of the gallery Tiger Strikes Asteroid.

ABOUT THE CURATOR

Megan Hinton is a visual artist based in Truro, Massachusetts. Hinton assembles materials in painting, printmaking, sculpture, and photography to reassemble personal and public narratives. Megan recently received a Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Studio Art from Mills College in Oakland, California where she was awarded the Hung Liu MFA Prize.  She is also the 2020 recipient of the Alice C. Cole ’42 Merit Grant from Wellesley College.

Her work has been shown work at Farm Project Space in Wellfleet, MA, SOMArts Cultural Center in San Francisco and The State University of New York Adirondack Visual Art Gallery. In 2019 Hinton was awarded The Murphy Cadogan Scholarship from the San Francisco Foundation and an artist residency from 20 Summers in Provincetown. Additional residency fellowships have been awarded from The Women’s Studio Workshop, Les Amis De La Grande Vigne in Brittany, France, and Frans Masereel Centrum, an International Printmaking Center in Belgium. 

Megan is also an art writer, educator, curator, and lecturer.

Image: Zehra Khan, Lapin Laundrette, video still