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30th Nov - 09th Feb

Imran Qureshi

A new exhibition in QUAD Gallery will feature an artwork made from over 25,000 pieces of paper forming an immense and astonishing ‘paper mountain’* – a work by contemporary miniature painting pioneer, Imran Qureshi, an internationally renowned artist from Pakistan. 

The centrepiece of the show references those ‘..who have been buried without their lives honoured or the circumstances of their deaths investigated’. Qureshi’s new exhibition in QUAD will include a site-specific installation, recent works on canvas, the UK premier of new video works and offer an insight into the world of contemporary miniature painting – the medium he is most celebrated for.

Imran Qureshi is one of the most celebrated artists to emerge from Pakistan in the last twenty years. This exhibition highlights a wide-ranging practice that includes miniature painting, installation and video work.

Complementing this, in Gallery Two, is the ‘Maktab Miniature Painting School’ featuring seven artists taught by Qureshi at the National College of Art (NCA) in Lahore and part of the first Maktab (‘school’ in Arabic) at the Lahore Biennale in 2018.

Gallery One features a series of Qureshi’s gold and red/ violet canvases. The red in these paintings suggests acts of violence. Qureshi’s signature flowers that emerge from the paint ‘…represent hope that – despite everything – the people sustain somehow, their hope for a better future’. The miniature works were painted when the artist realised that after 9/11 the world insisted on segregating religious people. Dragonflies also populate many of these works – creatures that the artist considers the embodiment of freedom.

The large paper mountain The Garden Within is an installation made from 25,000 A1 sheets of recycled prints featuring Qureshi’s flowers paintings. In part this work commemorates soldiers from the Indian sub-continent who fought alongside the British in WWI, and a modern emergency: global warming and the climate crisis.

Also featured is the UK premier of two video works focusing on everyday life in Pakistan. From a series of films that the artist continually shoots on his iPhone, All is Smiles comments on mass consumerism. In contrast Song of Silence is inspired by events in Kashmir. The tattered white flag, flapping silently in the breeze, echoes the silence that has descended on the Kashmir valley due to the current curfew.

Imran Qureshi is represented by Corvi-Mora, London and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg.

The Maktab itinerant Painting Academy from Lahore, Pakistan, will be on display in QUAD Gallery Two from 30th November 2019 to 9th February 2020.

*The paper used to create this installation is recycled, and will be 100% recycled once the exhibition has ended.

Image Credit: Imran Qureshi, Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève La Sorbonne 2014 installation view


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