Imran Qureshi was born in Hyderabad, Pakistan, in 1972. He studied at the National College of Arts in Lahore, where he learned the traditional techniques and aesthetics of the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century miniature painting that flourished in the Mughal courts. Some of his work is therefore a synthesis of traditional motifs and techniques with contemporary abstract painting. The art in Story Is a Vagabond was created on wasli, a paper made by hand in India especially for painting miniatures. Qureshi is also an installation artist who has had exhibitions at the Sydney Biennale, the Sharjah Biennial, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. His large installations, such as the one on the 8,000-foot terrace of the Met, can appear to be, in the words of New York Times reviewer Ken Johnson, “a crime scene or the site of a ritual slaughter” at first glance. But when looked at closely, as with his miniatures, the spatters of maroon, scarlet, and pale pink resolve into motifs characteristic of Mughal miniatures: intricately rendered leaves, bird feathers, and flowers.What appear to be capillaries or cracks in glass become thin, calligraphic tendrils and deli- cate foliage. “These forms stem from the effects of violence,” Qureshi explained in a statement accompanying the Met exhibit. “They are mingled with the color of blood, but, at the same time, this is where a dialogue with life, with new beginnings and fresh hope, starts.” Qureshi lives and works in Lahore.
Manoa – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Sep 29, 2015