Please join us for the opening reception on Friday, September 6 from 6 - 8 PM.
Canada is pleased to present Afterhours, a solo exhibition by Sahar Khoury. Khoury makes sculptures that, upon first encounter, resemble vessels, baskets, screens and tapestries. These objects prefer distortion over function. Although the sculptures are organized by the artist’s unique logic, they take pleasure in moments of material anarchy. Often these things or fragments get woven, fused with metal, coaxed upright and bent concave like pliant bodies.
One sculpture Untitled (cat with 13 belts) is made of three stacked ceramic vessels—red, black, and gold—each built with irregular cavities or protrusions. A cast bronze matte black cat poses at the top; her tail hovers weightlessly behind. (Khoury has sculpted her two cats many times, working directly from live poses and using paper and fabric to capture a rough sculptural form; this is her first time casting the forms in bronze.) Reinforcing the sculpture is a collection of tightly strung leather belts, their buckles and straps intertwine so that gold, pewter, and brown surfaces present in varying degrees of fashion, utility and bondage.
In Untitled (1900-1999), Khoury presents a gate-like screen or portal. The surface is painted bone white, modulated, and sculpted into a window-like pattern. (The pattern is actually comprised of numerals, a whole century’s worth, scrunched together illegibly.) Inside, the object is collaged with reflective bike tape, light absorbs and bounces off the characters, creating shadows and halos.
These sculptures, pressed out of earth and a material curiosity, offer more mood than tangible narrative. Possibly we recognize their meaning through the body like feeling the weight of the cat on our laps or the cinch of a belt. It is by the present touch of the artist that these objects bring into focus our own felt histories.
Sahar Khoury (b.1973) currently lives and works in Oakland, California. Recipient of the 2019 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art SECA Art Award, Khoury’s work will appear at SFMOMA in November. In 2017, Khoury and Johanna Jackson were featured in a two-person show at CANADA curated by Tony Cox. Other exhibitions include ‘Holder’ at Rebecca Camacho; ‘They,’ at Luggage Store and 2nd Floor Projects, all in San Francisco; as well as group exhibitions at the Oakland Museum of California and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Khoury received her BA in Anthropology from UC Santa Cruz in 1996 and her MFA From UC Berkeley in 2013 and worked as an ethnographer at the Cesar Chavez Institute at San Francisco State University from 2002-2015. Her research focused on the structural vulnerability of Latino migrant day laborers in the Bay Area.