Imran Qureshi (b. 1972, Hyderabad, Pakistan) 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. Renown 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 today in his country, Pakistan, and the world, 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, abstract painting and large installations, works on paper, as well as video.
Site-specific installation range internationally from the Sharjah Biennale in 2011, The God of Small Things at the Eli and Edyth Broad Art Museum in Michigan, The Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art both in 2013 and the inaugural exhibition of the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto titled Garden of Ideas: Contemporary Art from Pakistan in 2014. He participated in the Venice Biennale in the main show The Encyclopedic Palace, curated by Massimiliano Gioni in 2013. During the winter 2014/15 Ikon Gallery in Birmingham presented a solo exhibition by Imran Qureshi followed by commissions in 2016 for the Barbican’s Curve, London, entitled Where the Shadows are So Deep and his most ambitious UK exhibition project to date, which took place at three locations in Cornwall.
Imran Qureshi was awarded Deutsche Bank Artist of the year in 2013 and is represented in the permanent collections of major institutions including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.