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Sanam Khatibi
An hour before the Devil fell, 2019
oil and pencil on canvas
70 7/8 x 90 1/2 ins.
180 x 230 cm

Sanam Khatibi
An hour before the Devil fell, 2019
oil and pencil on canvas
70 7/8 x 90 1/2 ins.
180 x 230 cm

P·P·O·W is pleased to present An hour before the Devil fell, Sanam Khatibi’s first solo show in the United States. Featuring new paintings by the self-taught Belgian artist, this exhibition both captivates and repels in its interrogation of personal and political power structures within its entirely ambiguous, impartial, and sometimes cruel setting. Reframing allegorical scenes in alluring, exotic and incredibly detailed landscapes, Khatibi creates worlds where primal impulses and unrestrained judgement reign. Here nymph-like figures conquer and are conquered in equal measure by the flora and fauna around them. Adorned with waves of unpainted hair, these women are ambiguous in their relationship to power, violence, ritual, sexuality, and each other.

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In addition to her painting and drawing, Khatibi intuitively utilizes multiple mediums such as sculpture, ceramics, and embroidery to create and inform her work. Describing the dialogue intrinsically created between her sculptural and painterly objects Khatibi says “I tend to sacralise objects, and by doing so, I create an interaction with all things I collect and make. It’s like creating a language of my own, and I have always considered this inherent ability as part of my practice.”

Employing her own visual vocabulary as well as a broad range of influences including Northern Renaissance painting, Pre-Columbian art, and Flemish and Bayeux tapestries, Khatibi turns her gaze for the first time towards American traditions, mythologies and underlying, harsh realities. Taking its title from a line in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, which was written in the wake of McCarthyism, An hour before the Devil fell calls into question the puritanical power structures that define the proverbial person. Sanam Khatibi’s work both exalts and cautions against the fine line between triumph and failure, peace and brutality, and ultimately, civilization and destruction.

Sanam Khatibi (b. 1979) was born in Tehran, Iran and lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. She is self-taught and has been featured in exhibitions around the world, including group exhibitions in Paris, Florence, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Marseille, Vienna, and Warsaw, among others. Khatibi’s work is currently on view in The Seventh Continent, the 16th edition of the Istanbul Biennial curated by Nicolas Bourriaud. Recent institutional shows include De ta salive qui mord, BPS22 (Belgium), Mademoiselle at the Regional Centre of Contemporary Art of Occitan (France), Quel Amour!? at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Marseille (France), and The Biennial of Painting at the Museum of Deinze (Belgium).

Exhibited Works

Exhibited Works Thumbnails
Sanam Khatibi, Fantastic Beasts

Sanam Khatibi
Fantastic Beasts, 2019
oil and pencil on canvas
70 7/8 x 90 1/2 ins.
180 x 230 cm

Sanam Khatibi, To the last syllable of recorded time

Sanam Khatibi
To the last syllable of recorded time, 2019
oil and pencil on canvas
78 3/4 x 98 3/8 ins.
200 x 250 cm

Sanam Khatibi, There are kisses for us all

Sanam Khatibi
There are kisses for us all, 2019
oil and pencil on canvas
70 7/8 x 90 1/2 ins.
180 x 230 cm

Sanam Khatibi, This is the beast with a thousand mouths, that must be fed twice a day

Sanam Khatibi
This is the beast with a thousand mouths, that must be fed twice a day, 2019
oil and pencil on canvas
70 7/8 x 90 1/2 ins.
180 x 230 cm

Sanam Khatibi, Her scent had grown stronger and shimmered with a thousand colors

Sanam Khatibi
Her scent had grown stronger and shimmered with a thousand colors, 2019
oil on canvas
9 1/2 x 11 3/4 ins.
24 x 30 cm

Sanam Khatibi, A stark island of gold light in a dark crimson valley

Sanam Khatibi
A stark island of gold light in a dark crimson valley, 2019
oil on canvas
9 1/2 x 11 3/4 ins.
24 x 30 cm

Sanam Khatibi, Smaller than the wings of a lark

Sanam Khatibi
Smaller than the wings of a lark, 2019
oil on panel, framed
6 1/2 x 8 3/8 ins.
16.4 x 21.2 cm

Sanam Khatibi, It seems I’ve been rather naughty

Sanam Khatibi
It seems I’ve been rather naughty, 2019
oil on panel, framed
6 1/2 x 8 3/8 ins.
16.4 x 21.2 cm

Sanam Khatibi, Sweet painful, murderous desire

Sanam Khatibi
Sweet painful, murderous desire, 2019
oil on panel
7 7/8 x 11 3/4 ins.
20 x 30 cm

Sanam Khatibi, Leave and take your smooth tongue with you

Sanam Khatibi
Leave and take your smooth tongue with you, 2019
oil on panel
7 7/8 x 11 3/4 ins.
20 x 30 cm

Sanam Khatibi, How ravishing you look tonight

Sanam Khatibi
How ravishing you look tonight, 2019
oil on panel
6 1/2 x 8 3/8 ins.
16.5 x 21.3 cm

Sanam Khatibi, I'll have your tongue

Sanam Khatibi
I'll have your tongue, 2019
oil on panel
6 1/2 x 8 3/8 ins.
16.5 x 21.3 cm

Sanam Khatibi, Ask me nicely

Sanam Khatibi
Ask me nicely, 2019
ceramic and clay
In four parts
each:
3 x 3 ins.
7.6 x 7.6 cm

Sanam Khatibi, You forgot to kiss me

Sanam Khatibi
You forgot to kiss me, 2015
ceramic
35 3/8 x 12 5/8 x 1 5/8 ins.
90 x 32 x 4 cm

Sanam Khatibi, Swear to this by all the saints

Sanam Khatibi
Swear to this by all the saints, 2019
ceramic on pedestal
6 3/4 x 6 7/8 x 4 ins.
17 x 17.5 x 10 cm

Sanam Khatibi, Fantastic Beasts

Sanam Khatibi
Fantastic Beasts, 2019
oil and pencil on canvas
70 7/8 x 90 1/2 ins.
180 x 230 cm

Sanam Khatibi, To the last syllable of recorded time

Sanam Khatibi
To the last syllable of recorded time, 2019
oil and pencil on canvas
78 3/4 x 98 3/8 ins.
200 x 250 cm

Sanam Khatibi, There are kisses for us all

Sanam Khatibi
There are kisses for us all, 2019
oil and pencil on canvas
70 7/8 x 90 1/2 ins.
180 x 230 cm

Sanam Khatibi, This is the beast with a thousand mouths, that must be fed twice a day

Sanam Khatibi
This is the beast with a thousand mouths, that must be fed twice a day, 2019
oil and pencil on canvas
70 7/8 x 90 1/2 ins.
180 x 230 cm

Sanam Khatibi, Her scent had grown stronger and shimmered with a thousand colors

Sanam Khatibi
Her scent had grown stronger and shimmered with a thousand colors, 2019
oil on canvas
9 1/2 x 11 3/4 ins.
24 x 30 cm

Sanam Khatibi, A stark island of gold light in a dark crimson valley

Sanam Khatibi
A stark island of gold light in a dark crimson valley, 2019
oil on canvas
9 1/2 x 11 3/4 ins.
24 x 30 cm

Sanam Khatibi, Smaller than the wings of a lark

Sanam Khatibi
Smaller than the wings of a lark, 2019
oil on panel, framed
6 1/2 x 8 3/8 ins.
16.4 x 21.2 cm

Sanam Khatibi, It seems I’ve been rather naughty

Sanam Khatibi
It seems I’ve been rather naughty, 2019
oil on panel, framed
6 1/2 x 8 3/8 ins.
16.4 x 21.2 cm

Sanam Khatibi, Sweet painful, murderous desire

Sanam Khatibi
Sweet painful, murderous desire, 2019
oil on panel
7 7/8 x 11 3/4 ins.
20 x 30 cm

Sanam Khatibi, Leave and take your smooth tongue with you

Sanam Khatibi
Leave and take your smooth tongue with you, 2019
oil on panel
7 7/8 x 11 3/4 ins.
20 x 30 cm

Sanam Khatibi, How ravishing you look tonight

Sanam Khatibi
How ravishing you look tonight, 2019
oil on panel
6 1/2 x 8 3/8 ins.
16.5 x 21.3 cm

Sanam Khatibi, I'll have your tongue

Sanam Khatibi
I'll have your tongue, 2019
oil on panel
6 1/2 x 8 3/8 ins.
16.5 x 21.3 cm

Sanam Khatibi, Ask me nicely

Sanam Khatibi
Ask me nicely, 2019
ceramic and clay
In four parts
each:
3 x 3 ins.
7.6 x 7.6 cm

Sanam Khatibi, You forgot to kiss me

Sanam Khatibi
You forgot to kiss me, 2015
ceramic
35 3/8 x 12 5/8 x 1 5/8 ins.
90 x 32 x 4 cm

Sanam Khatibi, Swear to this by all the saints

Sanam Khatibi
Swear to this by all the saints, 2019
ceramic on pedestal
6 3/4 x 6 7/8 x 4 ins.
17 x 17.5 x 10 cm

Installation Views

Installation Views Thumbnails
Sanam Khatibi, An hour before the Devil fell install 1
Sanam Khatibi, An hour before the Devil fell install 2
Sanam Khatibi, An hour before the Devil fell install 3
Sanam Khatibi, An hour before the Devil fell install 9
Sanam Khatibi, An hour before the Devil fell install 4
Sanam Khatibi, An hour before the Devil fell install 5
Sanam Khatibi, An hour before the Devil fell install 7
Sanam Khatibi, An hour before the Devil fell install 6
Sanam Khatibi, An hour before the Devil fell install 8
Sanam Khatibi, An hour before the Devil fell install 1
Sanam Khatibi, An hour before the Devil fell install 2
Sanam Khatibi, An hour before the Devil fell install 3
Sanam Khatibi, An hour before the Devil fell install 9
Sanam Khatibi, An hour before the Devil fell install 4
Sanam Khatibi, An hour before the Devil fell install 5
Sanam Khatibi, An hour before the Devil fell install 7
Sanam Khatibi, An hour before the Devil fell install 6
Sanam Khatibi, An hour before the Devil fell install 8