Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Pantin has accustomed us to gigantic shows and Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi is no exception this summer. “The Seeming Path of Memory” is both delicate and bloody, beautiful and violent. Large canvases are shown along delicate gouaches on paper (my favorites) inspired by poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-1984) and mogul miniatures.
It is worth going to Pantin, just North of the Philharmonie to see the incredible space that Thaddeus Ropac has invested in this trendy suburb. Next to the Chanel and Hermès factories, and to the Centre national de la Danse (which has a good restaurant), this gallery always has impressive shows.
In this particular show, Qureshi explores the infinite through the motif of the fold with gradations from red to gold. Some of his canvases are particularly huge like the 17 meter, twelve panels of “The Endless Path” which is a reflection on the number 12 and its scientific value in culture and religion.
“Story of Two” a series of miniature paintings of trees show the link between unity and separation. There is also a number of self portraits with ornamental motifs bringing contemporary dress to an “antediviuan art of miniature”. I was less interested in the symmetrical compositions with red splashes conceived in reaction to the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand but respect the artist’s concern.
The artist’s large use of golden leafs on very large formats is very impressive and the religious and spiritual levels of his painting are universal. (Until July 27, Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, Pantin)
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