Imran Qureshi’s Inaugural Solo Exhibition in Rome

Elisabetta Marabotto of Saffronart suggests a visit to the MACRO in Rome for Imran Qureshi’s first solo exhibiton in Italy

Installation Shot at MACRO, Rome

Installation Shot at MACRO, Rome

London: The MACRO (Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome) is hosting Imran Qureshi’s first solo exhibition in Italy in collaboration with Deutsche Bank.

After being nominated Deutsche Bank “Artist of the Year” 2013 and after completing a large scale site specific installation at the MET in New York, Qureshi concludes a very successful artistic year with this exhibition.

Installation Shot at MACRO, Rome

Installation Shot at MACRO, Rome

Qureshi, one of the leading contemporary Pakistani artists, is internationally renown for the creation of contemporary miniatures. The artist in his work discusses the current socio-political situation in Pakistan including delicate topics such as terrorism using mainly traditional painting techniques on wasli (handmade paper). The dichotomy between violence and hope, destruction and creation are also permanent features in his art as well as the evocative red colour and the flower pattern which denote Qureshi’s optimism and peaceful resistance.

Imran Qureshi in an interview with Amna Tirmizi Naqvi said about his choice of studying miniature paintings:

“I did not choose it, it kind of chose me. I was adept at it and therefore Professor Bashir, the teacher who was conducting the course, insisted and declared that he felt I was really suited for it. I chose painting but he kept insisting. Contrary to his opinion I had my own misgivings and I replied that the tradition did not suit my temperament. He quoted a mahawara, which is witty idiom in Urdu. He stated that “we can tell from the aroma emanating from the cauldron about the condition of a single grain of rice”. I thought that if a teacher is conveying this idea with such persistence, there must be some truth in it.”

Installation Shot at MACRO, Rome

Installation Shot at MACRO, Rome

The present exhibition features recent works by Qureshi, some of which had been exhibited at the Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle in Berlin, including miniatures, oval canvases as well as site specific installations. The museum space is fitting to Qureshi’s works as it offers a classical presentation for the miniatures and a contemporary environment for the installations.

The exhibition stimulates the viewers to embark on a critical discourse on culture, politics and religion and their misconceptions and stereotypes.

Below you can enjoy a selection of the works on display.

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The exhibition is on until November 17, so you are still in time to visit Imran Qureshi’s first Italian solo exhibition at the MACRO in Rome! For more information click here.

Imran Qureshi Invited to Undertake Roof Garden Commission at Metropolitan Museum

Tarika Agarwal shares details of a forthcoming commission by Pakistani contemporary artist Imran Qureshi at the Metropolitan Museum, May 2013

517765-ImranQureshi-1362750738-642-640x480New York: Imran Qureshi, born in Pakistan in 1972, is a leading Pakistani contemporary artist. He is trained in the celebrated ancient Mughal miniature art form, and is best known for his minutely detailed paintings that borrow from the style of traditional miniature paintings. In his work, he merges traditional techniques with contemporary social, political and cultural subjects to create a new expressionist idiom. His paintings are a visual commentary on the contemporary realities of his homeland – modern day Pakistan.

Imran QureshiModerate Enlightenment2007Gouache on Wasli8.5 x 6.5 inFrom: Saffronart's 24 Hour Auction: Art of Pakistan, Lot 31Exhibited and published: Hanging Fire: Contemporary Art from Pakistan, 2009-10

Imran Qureshi
Moderate Enlightenment
Gouache on Wasli
8.5 x 6.5 in
From Saffronart’s Art of Pakistan Auction, Lot 31
Exhibited and published: Hanging Fire: Contemporary Art from Pakistan, 2009-10

Qureshi has been invited to undertake the prestigious Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum, New York. He will create a site-specific work atop the museum’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden this summer. Considered one of the leading figures in developing a “contemporary miniature” aesthetic, integrating motifs and techniques of traditional miniature painting with contemporary themes, Qureshi is the first artist to create a work that will be painted directly onto the surface of the Roof Garden. His installation, The Roof Garden Commission: Imran Qureshi, will be on view from May 14 through November 3, 2013 (weather permitting). A book titled ‘The Roof Garden Commission: Imran Qureshi’ will also be published in conjunction with the installation. It will provide the artist’s perspective and other contexts in which to consider the projects. The installation at the Metropolitan Museum is organized by Sheena Wagstaff, Chairman, and Ian Alteveer, Associate Curator, of the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art.

The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden

The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden

Qureshi is known for creating large-scale environments in architectural spaces, addressing  the site’s historical and political associations. Through his works like Blessings Upon the Land of My Love (2011) commissioned by the Sharjah Art Foundation, ornamental foliate motifs sourced from miniatures are transposed to a large scale through the careful layering of spilled and hand-applied paint. The result surrounds the viewer and transforms the site. In November 2012, Qureshi was conferred with the prestigious Deutsche Bank’s 2013 Artist of the Year Award. Learn more about his practice here.

Imran Qureshi, Blessings Upon the Land of my Love, 2011. Site-specific installation, commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation.

Imran Qureshi, Blessings Upon the Land of my Love, 2011. Site-specific installation, commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation.
Image courtesy:

Some of the other artists who have exhibited or been commissioned to create works for the museum’s annual Roof Garden installation include Jeff Koons (2008), Tomás Saraceno (2012), Ellsworth Kelly (1998), Roy Lichtenstein (2003),  Cai Guo-Qiang (2006) and  Frank Stella (2007).

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