News Register for our weekly news digest here.

Baseera Khan. Photo: Maridelis Morales Rosado.
Baseera Khan. Photo: Maridelis Morales Rosado.

Baseera Khan Awarded Brooklyn Museum’s $25,000 UOVO Prize

The Brooklyn Museum has announced Baseera Khan as the winner of its second annual UOVO Prize, created to honor the work of emerging Brooklyn artists. Khan, a conceptual artist who addresses issues of surveillance, otherness, and the body through a practice that embraces sculpture, video, collage, performance, and Islamic cultural and religious ephemera, will receive an unrestricted $25,000 cash grant as well as a solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum and a commission to create a large public-art installation on the façade of art-storage facility UOVO: BROOKLYN, located in the borough’s Bushwick neighborhood.

“Baseera Khan’s proposal for the Brooklyn Museum thrilled the curators with its poignant synthesis of historical and contemporary references,” said Carmen Hermo, an associate curator at the museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. Hermo, who will curate Khan’s forthcoming exhibition, cited the artist’s “deep sense of care for their communities, razor-sharp critical foundations, and rich sense of humor” as imbuing their work with a sense of “power and play.”

Khan, whose first solo show, at New York’s Participant, Inc in 2017, commented on Nike’s refusal to allow the words “Muslim” or “Islam” to appear on the company’s customizable sneakers, is the US-born child of Muslim working-class emigrants from Bangalore, India. They grew up in Denton, Texas, and have lived in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood for a decade.

“I remember moving to Brooklyn in 2007, quite close to the Brooklyn Museum in fact, and I’ve lived close by ever since,” Khan said in a statement. “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.”

Khan’s solo exhibition and the installation of their UOVO work are slated to take place in 2021.