Imran Qureshi, ‘Moderate Enlightenment’, 2007, Christie's South Asian + Chinese

This year, Qureshi was recognized with the Deutsche Bank Artist of the Year award for his outstanding oeuvre of works on paper that comment on the relationship between the West and the Islamic world. Qureshi's works will be shown in a major solo exhibition at the Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle in spring 2013.

During the 1980s, Qureshi studied at the National College of Art, Lahore (NCA) under Bashir Ahmad, a student of the last traditional master miniaturists in Pakistan. While at the NCA, Qureshi was involved with the puppet society. The parody that is at the heart of puppetry was a catalyst for the introduction of contemporary themes in his painting and laid the foundation for his witty and socially conscious works. "The Moderate Enlightenment series deals with the socio-political issues that most of the world is currently facing. The works portray religious people carrying out everyday activities, such as exercising, enjoying nature and reading. When viewed in the context of Pakistani society, viewers may read such activities in a very different light...I have deliberately used three colors repeatedly in each of these works: red, white, and blue, inspired by the colors of the American flag." (Artist statement, Hanging Fire, New York, 2009, p. 114)

Signature: signed and dated 'Imran Qureshi / 2007' (on the reverse)

Image rights: [Christie's](

New York, Aicon Gallery, Threshold: Forging Narratives in South Asian Contemporary Art, February - March, 2009

New York, Asia Society Museum, Hanging Fire: Contemporary Art from Pakistan, September 2008 - January 2009

M. Khan Mumtaz, 'Miniature Painting in Pakistan: Divergences Between Traditional and Contemporary Practice', Guggenheim Museum Blog, 4 February 2013, (illsutrated)

Hanging Fire: Contemporary Art from Pakistan, exhibition catalogue, New York, 2009, p. 115 (illustrated)

S. Pereira, ed., Side By Side 2/2: Moderate Enlightenment, 2009, Singapore, p. 7 (illustrated)

About Imran Qureshi

A master of the art of miniature, Imran Qureshi reworks the painting style typical of Mughal courts in the 16th to 19th centuries to depict flora, fauna, body parts, and calligraphic script. Following bombings in his home city of Lahore, he introduced blood-red paint into his palette, splattered or delicately drawn in works that contrast violence with beauty. Plant tendrils become splitting capillaries, human feet are patterned with tiny leaves, and oval canvases are covered in gold leaf. In pieces as small as six-by-eight inches or as large as room-size installations, he represents in abstracted terms the collective history of his country.

Pakistani, b. 1972, Hyderabad, Pakistan, based in Lahore, Pakistan