Ornamental miniature paintings have a rich and lengthy history in the story of Eastern art. From 10th Century palm-leave illustrations to courtly Mughal scenes four hundred years later, for centuries these lyrical, detailed works of art have told tales of life and love.
Award-winning Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi has become a master of the miniature tradition. His pocket-sized works are jewel-bright, and teeming with stories: modernised myths, folklore and courtly romances, that force you to peer at them, up-close.
Over at the Barbican Curve Qureshi's rich paintings hang at varying heights, interspersed with splatters of blood, which bloom in multifoliate roses. “These forms stem from the effects of violence,” Qureshi has said. “They are mingled with the color of blood, but, at the same time, this is where a dialogue with life, with new beginnings and fresh hope starts.”
His miniatures are enchanting. The gallery space is deem, so each miniature becomes a source of light. They draw on themes of nature, each one has a curved horizon, and a tree. In some, snow falls - rendered in tiny white circles. In others, blazing gold leaf signifies stars or sunset. They are mythic, precious and hugely covetable.
|What||Review: Imran Qureshi: Where the Shadows are so Deep, Barbican|
Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS | MAP
|Nearest tube||Barbican (underground)|
18 Feb 16 – 10 Jul 16, Saturday–Wednesday 11am–8pm, Thursday & Friday 11am–9pm, Bank Holidays 12pm–8pm
|Website||Click here for more information|