The Brooklyn Museum awards second annual UOVO Prize to Baseera Khan

The Brooklyn Museum awarded Baseera Khan the second annual UOVO Prize, which recognizes the work of emerging Brooklyn-based artists. Khan’s work concentrates on performance, Islamic cultural and religious ephemera, sculpture, collage, and video, and addresses issues of surveillance, otherness, and the body. As the awardee, Khan will receive a solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, a commission for a 50×50-foot public art installation on the façade of UOVO: BROOKLYN, located in Bushwick, and a $25,000 unrestricted cash grant. Their public installation and Museum exhibition will debut in fall of 2021. Khan was selected by a team of curators from the Brooklyn Museum, and the exhibition, the artist’s first solo museum show, will be curated by Carmen Hermo, Associate Curator, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. 

“Baseera Khan’s proposal for the Brooklyn Museum thrilled the curators with its poignant synthesis of historical and contemporary references,” says Hermo. “Their deep sense of care for their communities, razor-sharp critical foundations, and rich sense of humor imbue their work with both power and play, and will challenge and delight visitors to the Museum in 2021.” 

Khan, who grew up in Denton, Texas, and has lived in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, the past ten years, uses their work to call out the social architectures of othering, exploitation of cultures and resources, and xenophobia within our public and private spaces. Khan’s practice often incorporates collage techniques, their own body, and myriad references to historical and contemporary Muslim culture and politics, revealing the oppressions of patriarchy. Approaching the challenges of assimilation and belonging as they relate to a variety of experiences, from self-fashioning to spirituality, Khan harnesses history, humor, and a sense of catharsis in their materially resonant work. 

“I remember moving to Brooklyn in 2007, quite close to the Brooklyn Museum in fact, and I’ve lived close by
ever since,” says Khan. “I am deeply moved that my first museum solo exhibition will happen in a space that provided me and others with so much comfort during the lockdown of COVID-19. Past the visions of cherry blossoms and botanic desires, the Museum has such a vast collection and scholarship around Islamic art as well as work by Black and Brown artists. The work I will present could not be in a better location.” 

Steve Guttman, UOVO Founder and Chairman, remarks: “We are excited by the selection of Baseera Khan as the second recipient of the UOVO Prize in conjunction with the Brooklyn Museum. We look forward to celebrating this achievement and showcasing their thought-provoking composition at UOVO: BROOKLYN in 2021.” 

The inaugural UOVO Prize winner was announced in June 2019. John Edmonds, whose installation for UOVO: BROOKLYN is on view through next year, is also the focus of a solo exhibition, John Edmonds: A Sidelong Glance, at the Brooklyn Museum and on view through August 8, 2021. 

Baseera Khan was born in Denton, Texas, and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Upcoming solo exhibitions include Public Art Fund, New York (2021, forthcoming), and Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, Georgia (2021, forthcoming). Selected solo and twoperson exhibitions include The Kitchen, New York (2020); Simone Subal Gallery, New York (2019); Jenkins Johnson, New York (2019); Colorado Springs Fine Art Centers, Colorado (2018); Texas Christian University College of Fine Arts, Fort Worth, Texas (2017); and Participant Inc. Gallery, New York (2017). Selected group exhibitions include Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio (2021, forthcoming); NOMA, New Orleans, Louisiana (2020); Gracie Mansion Conservancy, New York (2020); LACE, Los Angeles, California (2020); Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism, Munich, Germany (2019); BRIC, New York (2019); Albany Museum, Albany, New York (2019); Ford Foundation Gallery, New York (2019); Helena Anrather, New York (2019); St. John the Divine Church, New York (2019); Simone Subal Gallery, New York (2018); MoCA Tucson, Arizona (2018); Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, New York (2018); 47 Canal, New York (2018); Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York (2018); Smack Mellon, New York (2018); The Kitchen, New York (2018); Kate Werble Gallery, New York (2018); Sculpture Center, New York (2018); Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, Colorado (2018); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2017); Queens Museum, New York (2016); Socrates Sculpture Park, New York (2016); and Abrons Art Center, New York (2016). Khan has been awarded numerous grants and fellowships including the BRIC Colene Brown Art Prize (2019), Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant (2019), and Art Matters (2018). Artist residencies include LUX Art Institute, Encinitas, California (2021, forthcoming); Pioneer Works, New York (2018); AIRspace, Abrons Art Center, New York (2016); and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Program, Maine (2014). Khan’s work is part of the following public collections: Kadist, Paris and San Francisco; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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