Imran Qureshi - Biographie
Imran Qureshi (b.1972 in Hyderabad, Pakistan) is considered to be one of Asia’s most important contemporary artists, not least because he reclaims the regionally and historically rooted discipline of miniature painting and transports it to the present day. His work constitutes a unique synthesis of the genre’s motifs and techniques with current issues and the formal language of contemporary abstract painting. Qureshi incorporates personal observations on everyday life in present-day Pakistan into his work while acknowledging that violence can be met with not only in his native country, but in many cultures and societies worldwide. Imran Qureshi said, “The dialogue between life and death is an important element in my work. Leaves and nature, for example, represent the idea of life. And the particular color of red that I have been using in recent years can look so real, like blood. But somehow, people still have hope. The flowers that seem to emerge from the red paint in my work represent the hope that—despite everything—the people sustain somehow, their hope for a better future.”
Imran Qureshi - modern miniature painting
Qureshi became known to a broader public with a large-scale site-specific work on the Roof Garden at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2013. Using the nearly 8,000-square-foot open-air space as his canvas, Qureshi has worked areas of his spilled and splattered red acrylic paint into patterns of lush ornamental leaves that evoke the luxuriant walled gardens that are ubiquitous in miniatures of the Mughal court.
The artist studied in Lahore at the National College of Arts with a major in miniature painting — a traditional discipline that he teaches there today. In Qureshi’s work, the exploration of ornament is both a return to tradition and a commentary on the present day. The artist converts miniature painting into site-specific installations that address architectural space. Works such as Blessings Upon the Land of My Love, 2011 (Sharjah Biennale) or They Shimmer Still, 2012 (Biennale of Sydney) harbor references to the historical or political meaning of the respective buildings.
The show Imran Qureshi: Artist of the Year 2013 at the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle was the Pakistani artist’s first major presentation in Europe. Upon its conclusion, the exhibition travelled to the Museo d’arte contemporanea Roma (MACRO). In 2013, his work was shown in the Italian Pavilion at the 55th Biennale di Venezia.
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