Location: Nature Morte, New Delhi India
Dates: 20 April – 04 June 2022
Nature Morte is pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by Saad Qureshi. This is the first time the gallery is working with the London-based artist. On view will be nine new works produced by him during the last two years.
The artist’s grandfather was a tailor in the British Army, and brought his family from Pakistan to the UK in the 1950s. Qureshi (b. 1986) was brought up in an environment which regarded textiles as objects of both skill and artistry. Collecting family carpets and books from his home library, the artist photographed the important textiles he grew up with, printing the images on to paper, cutting them into strips, and weaving them into tapestries (tanabanas) in which several designs are brought together to create new compositions. Combining images of many different textiles into each piece, Qureshi pays homage to craft and the fruits of lifetimes of practice, bringing his own skills as a maker into dialogue with those of generations before him.
In Buddhist philosophy, the universe is thought of as a weaving: to weave is to produce cosmos. The to-and-fro movement of the shuttle upon the cosmic loom is the alternation of life and death, of the coming into and going out of existence, whether of a person or a world. Each of Qureshi’s works do indeed contain multitudes. The first process, of printing the image of the textile on to paper, softens and blurs it. The second process, slicing the images into strips, disrupts and abstracts the images and patterns of the original textiles. The third process, that of weaving these paper slices together in a strict grid of horizontals and verticals, introduces an element of chance into the final composition. The carpets and textiles that act as Qureshi’s materials are from a wide range of eras and sources in the Islamic World, but the artist chooses not to identify the original pieces. Hence, both decorative and functional textiles are brought together, both representational and patterned. Qureshi’s Tanabanas consciously confuse pedigrees of Fine Art and Craft, Figuration and Abstraction, deliberate method and happenstance, the handmade and the mechanically reproduced. His process is labour-intensive yet the works mimic a language of digitization. They are hybrid products of a globalised culture in the 21st Century, with their foundations to be found in the histories of migration and colonisation of the 19th and 20th Centuries.