Idris Khan was born in Birmingham, England, in 1978. He studied photography at the University of Derby and completed his Master's Degree in Fine Art at the Royal College of Art in London in 2004.
Khan employs a wide range of different media, including sculpture, painting, print and photography, which he uses to investigate memory and the passage of time. His work often consists of densely layered imagery that hovers between abstraction and figuration, and draws on diverse cultural sources including literature, philosophy, religion and the history of art and music.
Recent solo exhibitions include Château La Coste, Provence (2022); New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall (2017); and The Whitworth, Manchester (2016 and 2012). 21 Stones, an installation of twenty one unique paintings, is currently displayed as a scattered formation on a dedicated wall at the British Museum, London. 21 stones was the museum’s first site-specific commission.
In 2023 Khan staged a two person exhibition with his partner, artist Annie Morris at Newlands House Gallery in West Sussex. The artist couple will also have a joint exhibition at Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery, London in Autumn 2023. Recent group shows include Moody Center of Arts, Rice University, Houston; The Laing, Newcastle (2022); Fundación Bancaja, Valencia, Spain travelled to Palazzo Cipolla, Rome, Italy (2022); Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn; Art Science Museum, Singapore (2021); Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; Palais Populaire, Berlin (2020); The Whitworth, Manchester; Royal Academy of Arts, London (2019); and Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (2018).
In 2012 The New York Times Magazine commissioned five photographic works by Khan for their London issue, which featured on the cover of the magazine. Khan conceived his London print series in response to this commission. For the project he selected a group of London architectural landmarks, each one an intrinsic part of the capital city. The final images are an amalgam of between 70 - 100 layers of photographs of the same subject.
Further commissions include a new wall drawing for the British Museum’s 2012 exhibition, Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam. In 2014 Khan collaborated with choreographer Wayne McGregor to produce a stage design for Switzerland's contemporary dance biennale.
In 2016, the artist’s The UAE Memorial, a permanent public monument was unveiled in the Abu Dhabi Memorial Park, and went on to receive the American Architecture Prize. A major public sculpture for London by Khan, commissioned by St George’s Plc with London Borough of Southwark as part of the development of One Blackfriars, was unveiled in Autumn 2019. In 2017 Khan was awarded an OBE for services to art, and in 2023 he took part in the Islamic Arts Biennale, Saudi Arabia.
His work is held in numerous public collections across the world, including the British Museum, London; The Whitworth, Manchester; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel; Musée National des Beaux Arts, Québec; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art; de Young Museum, San Francisco; and Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
In April 2024 Khan will have his first career survey exhibition in the United States, at Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin.
Idris Khan lives and works in London.
Idris Khan's first museum exhibition in the U.S. to open in 2024
Idris Khan: Repeat After Me will chart the evolution of the artist’s practice across two decades and will also debut a new series of work inspired by iconic paintings.
Interview: Idris Khan and Annie Morris exhibit their work together for the first time at Newlands House Gallery.
Interview: "These two bodies of work, just like the two artists who created them, coexist in harmony."
The World of Interiors meets Annie Morris and Idris Khan to talk about their latest exhibition.
Exhibition: Two Worlds Entwined: Annie Morris and Idris Khan
Newlands House Gallery opens the artist couple’s first joint exhibition.
Idris Khan: How To Be An Artist
Idris Khan designs limited edition face mask
In the Press: Step inside the French home of Idris Khan and Annie Morris
In the Press: Idris Khan on his spiritual heritage and the power of colour
Idris Khan's first permanent public artwork in the UK
Idris Khan creates British Museum’s first permanent site-specific work
Exhibitions at Cristea Roberts Gallery
- Ali Banisadr
- Georg Baselitz
- Christiane Baumgartner
- Rana Begum
- Pablo Bronstein
- Gordon Cheung
- Rhys Coren
- Michael Craig-Martin
- Dexter Dalwood
- Ian Davenport
- Miriam de Búrca
- Jan Dibbets
- Jim Dine
- Joy Gerrard
- Antony Gormley
- Marie Harnett
- Langlands & Bell
- Richard Long
- Mick Moon
- David Nash
- Paul Noble
- Julian Opie
- Mimmo Paladino
- Cornelia Parker