Double, Double

This trippy here-and-thereness pours off an image of a Spartan wooden table and a straight-back chair. You look at one piece of furniture, then the other. The two are together, but occupy slightly different horizontal space—in the same family, but of a different order. There is a spiky disproportion to everything in a Khedoori: perspective quivers, planes shift, you never know what's off.

In the largest work in the show (and the weakest, because it lacks psychic focus), Khedoori depicts the grid of a deserted city that doubles as a hilltop view of Los Angeles. Only the buildings are laid out so sparsely that you drift back in time, to the '20s or the '30s, when Los Angeles was still a promise. As with many of Khedoori's places, this "city" exudes a Hopperesque solitude, and a haunted, Raymond Chandler sense of mystery. No one is here: it's just you, it, the light, and your eye.

In an image of three repeating rooms—one stacked atop another—Khedoori lets her minimalist roots show. This Judd-like stack is shifted dramatically to the middle of the composition, or to the extreme right of the left-hand panel of paper. True to form, these lifeless—decidedly abstract—"rooms" can take you away: each has a door with white light streaming through it.


Toba Khedoori
David Zwirner
43 Greene Street
Through July 31

Strangely, I found myself thinking, "If I were in prison, I'd like to have one of these drawings on my wall." Then I remembered a story by Herman Hesse: a prisoner paints a landscape on the wall of his cell, showing a miniature train entering a tunnel. He makes himself very tiny, enters into his picture, climbs into the little train, which starts moving, then disappears into the tunnel, leaving his cell empty.

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