Imran Qureshi

  • Rebellion, 2018
  • This time, where the twin streams of time begin to merge, 2018
  • This time, where the twin streams of time begin to merge, 2018
  • This time, where the twin streams of time begin to merge, 2018
  • Morning and night sang a duet together for a long moment, 2018
  • Morning and night sang a duet together for a long moment, 2018

Imran Qureshi lives and works in Lahore, Pakistan. He reclaims the regionally rooted discipline of miniature painting that flourished in the Mughal courts of the late sixteenth century and transports it to the present day. His work constitutes a unique synthesis of traditional motifs and techniques with current issues and the formal language of contemporary abstract painting. Renowned for his site-specific installations, he develops an aesthetic that integrates contemporary themes with the motifs and techniques of traditional miniature painting. Leaves and nature represent the idea of life, whilst the colour red (that appears at first glance like real blood) represents death. The red reminds Qureshi of the situation in his country, Pakistan and around the world today, where violence is almost a daily occurrence. “But somehow, people still have hope,” Qureshi says, “hence the flowers that emerge from the red paint in my work represent the hope that—despite everything—the people sustain somehow, their hope for a better future”. He works elegantly across the medium of miniature painting and abstract painting, as well as large installations, works on paper and video. His site-specific installations range internationally from the Sharjah Biennial, 2011; the inaugural exhibition of the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto titled Garden of Ideas: Contemporary Art from Pakistan,  2014; The God of Small Things, Eli and Edyth Broad Art Museum in Michigan; and The Roof Garden Commission, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2013. He participated in the Venice Biennale’s main show: The Encyclopaedic Palace, curated by Massimiliano Gioni in 2013. During winter 2014/15, Ikon Gallery in Birmingham presented a solo exhibition by Imran Qureshi, Deutsche Bank Artist of the Year 2013. Imran Qureshi is represented in the permanent collections of major institutions including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the V&A Museum, London.

 

Artwork Concept:

This time, where the twin streams of time begin to merge, 2018

Gouache and gold leaf on wasli paper

Courtesy of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London, Paris, Salzburg

Going back to the basics of my training as a miniature painter and taking it to another level, I tried to create a new series of small scale miniature paintings, installed in two separate rooms, depicting the idea of life and its destruction. This is a continuation of my other two large-scale, site-specific installations in Al Ain Oasis but on a miniature scale, although retaining finer details and information. “

Imran Qureshi

 

This time, where the twin streams of time begin to merge, 2018

Acrylic and emulsion paint on concrete

“I chose two completely different farms/gardens in the oasis for my floor painting. The first garden is extensively lush and green with abundant foliage, including date palm trees - whereas the one directly opposite has a completely different impact due to the absence of green grass on the ground and a deliberately created sense of dryness all around it, which sets it apart from all other farms and gardens in the area. This time, unlike my previous site-specific floor paintings, I have tried to connect these two different oasis gardens as a diptych, creating a powerful dialogue and statement through their opposite characteristics. Very different contrasting spaces - yet strongly connected with each other. “

Imran Qureshi 

 

‘Morning and night sang a duet together for a long moment’, 2018

Installation

Morning and night sang a duet together for a long moment’ comprises of a few thousand plastic black roses, portraying the idea of a changing landscape due to the alarming threat of global warming. The way I have tried to “plant” the plastic stems of the black roses in this sandy and completely dry landscape, leads to an immediate connection with the Oasis plantations.

 Historically, this specific piece of land, on which I have chosen to install this sculptural installation, was where oil drums were kept for refuelling armoured vehicles during the time Al Jahili Fort was in use by the Trucial Scouts, between 1956 and 1971. And this is how one can also interpret or relate this work to the history of this specific location inside the fort.“

Imran Qureshi