Sunday, November 18, 2012

Deutsche Bank’s ‘Artist of the Year’ for 2013

Deutsche Bank has chosen Imran Qureshi, one of the most significant names on Pakistan’s contemporary art scene, as its ‘Artist of the Year’ for 2013. The financial institute honors a practitioner who looks to address social issues in a very own way and create an individualistic oeuvre that focuses on the two key points of the bank’s collection: photography and works on paper. An accompanying note elaborates”

Insignia of a global leisure e culture
The artist counters the initial impression of the sublime and near-antiquity with the insignia of a global leisure e culture: his protagonists carry messenger bags, wear cargo shorts and camouflage T-shirts. The practical military look is a clear fashion statement. In combination with religion and spirituality, however, it quickly brings fanaticism to mind. Global reality has also crept into these idyllic scenes. In its complexity, however, Qureshi’s series puts both to the test: the rigidity of religious fundamentalism and the rigidity of western “enlightened” clichés of Islamic culture.
Infinitely detailed, wondrous world
Like beads strung on invisible threads, rain falls in precise lines from golden-hued clouds which part to reveal a patch of deep blue sky: Moderate Enlightenment, Imran Qureshi’s series of miniature paintings, presents an infinitely detailed, wondrous world. Everything in it seems delicate to the point of fragility—the blades of grass poking out of the earth, the ornamental branches and vines of the bushes and trees that intertwine to create frames and patterns. The young men and women in this microcosm also seem tender and introverted, dreamily blowing soap bubbles and flower petals into the air, opening their umbrellas, or taking walks, immersed in their solitude. A lost paradise, one might say; a look at the spiritual unity of man and nature.
 ‘Shoots of hope’
‘They shimmer still’ is the poetic, yet defiant title of Imran Qureshi’s installation for the 2012 Sydney Biennial. At second glance, it turns out to be hundreds of ornamental flowers flowing over the cement and rusty metal, forming paths and islands. ‘Shoots of hope’, the title he has given to these blossoms, can be understood as a sign of a new beginning, the start of new life.
The selection was announced in Berlin, where Qureshi’s works will be shown in a major solo presentation at the “Deutsche Bank KunstHalle” in the spring of 2013.

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