An art exhibition featuring the work of Joshua Kent and Zehra Khan

July – August 2019 | EXTRA Projects at basic studios | Curated by Katie Waddell

Tender Alchemists explores the arbitrary designations of value assigned to objects. The artists in Tender Alchemists undermine the false dichotomies of luxury and austerity, art and craft, and form and function. With a nod to the homemaking practices of pioneer America and Pakistan, Zehra Khan simulates traditional textiles with mass-produced materials such as permanent marker and hot glue. Joshua Kent creates formal compositions with discarded objects that reveal the bounty obscured by professed scarcity. Both artists are tender alchemists, although it might be wrong to say that their chrysopoetic gestures turn crude materials into gold. Their magic is contextual. By re-presenting marginalia as objects worthy of being beheld, they validate the quiet opulence of everyday experience. Read the full curatorial text.

Joshua Kent works within the intersections of writing, performance, and sculpture. Rooted in their work at St. Francis House (a grassroots home of hospitality), Kent’s immersive practices proposes bounty amidst professed scarcity. They are currently an MFA candidate at Northwestern University.

Zehra Khan is a multi-disciplinary artist who likes to make things by hand. She works in drawing, sculpture, installations, performance, and painting on people. Khan is American and Pakistani, born in Indonesia. She lived in Paris and Switzerland before moving to the US. Zehra received an MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art & Design at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and a BS from Skidmore College.

Extra Projects at basic studios is a multidisciplinary project space located in the front of basic studios, an artist studio building located in Logan Square, Chicago.