Illuminated Geographies: Pakistani Miniaturist Practice in the Wake of the Global Turn
Tufts University Art Gallery, Oklahoma, Medford, 01/17/2013 - 03/31/2013
The Tufts University Art Gallery at the Shirley and Alex Aidekman Arts Center is proud to present Illuminated Geographies: Pakistani Miniaturist Practice in the Wake of the Global Turn, featuring new works by Ambreen Butt, Faiza Butt, Murad Khan Mumtaz, and Saira Wasim, on view from January 17 to March 31, 2013. A public opening reception will take place on Thursday, January 24, from 5:30 to 8 pm, with a curatorial introduction to the exhibition at 6:30 pm. Illuminated Geographies explores how Pakistani miniaturist painting is evolving as it enters into new contexts and how its stylistic foundation is being adapted through four very different artistic visions. The practice of Mughal miniature painting originated during the 16th century in the Mughal Empire, which spanned what is now India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan. This art form was marked by a meticulous attention to minute detail, lush jewel tones, epic subject matter, and diminutive scale. As the Mughal Empire fell into decline, so did this style. Today we are experiencing a renaissance in this mode of artistic expression, due, in large part, to the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan (NCA), which since the 1980s has taught this traditional practice of wasli paper- and brush-making techniques, paint mixing, narrative style, and iconography.
Illuminated Geographies focuses on four artists trained at the NCA now living outside of Pakistan who are pushing the boundaries of miniaturist practice in different directions. New works by these four artists -- Ambreen Butt, Faiza Butt, Murad Khan Mumtaz, and Saira Wasim -- all deal with themes of cultural hybridity as the artists address the political, social, and cultural realities of both Pakistan and their present locations. They draw parallels between divergent traditions and allow for different perspectives to occupy a single space. Despite a shared origin in Pakistan, the subject of Illuminated Geographies is transcultural in nature— reaching both across and beyond cultures.For More Information