Imran Qureshi working on his site-specific painting at Asia Society Museum in 2009. (Bill Swersey/Asia Society)
A new installation by Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi opens today at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Covering the Met's 8,000-square-foot Iris and Gerald B. Cantor Roof Garden, the installation features splashes of red paint that simultaneously evoke bloodshed but also luxuriant foliage and new growth. On the Met's website, the artist says of his "visceral blooms" of acrylic, "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."
Qureshi was one of 15 artists in Asia Society Museum's 2009 exhibition Hanging Fire: Contemporary Art from Pakistan, for which he also created a large-scale site-specific emulsion and acrylic wall painting. Running along the wall adjacent to the museum's open-air staircase, the work ran down two full stories culminating in a carefully painted "puddle" on the ground floor. (The Hanging Fire catalogue is still available.)
In the multimedia feature below, Qureshi describes how he conceives each one of his installations specifically for the space that contains it, creating a "dialogue" between the work and its environment. He also offers an explanation of how the work alludes to "life and the destruction of life" simultaneously.
Qureshi was born in Hyderabad in 1972 and attended the National College of Art in Lahore, where he now teaches. Among his many honors, he was named the Deutsche Bank "Artist of the Year" earlier in 2013.