Imran Mir
Alchemist of Line


20th October 2017 - 31st January 2019

Imran Mir (1950-2014) was a Karachi based artist whose work brought together aesthetically diverse yet complementary practices of painting, sculpture, and design into a single oeuvre. Graduating in 1971, from the Central Institute of Art and Design, Imran was awarded a scholarship to study Communication Design at the Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, which he said “dramatically influenced my outlook on making artíŽíŽnd the realization that it is not technique that matters in art but the concept”.
At the time, it was rare for artists from Pakistan to study abroad and this early exposure may well have ensured that Imran’s life would remain cosmopolitan, assimilating new ideas that he would meld into his practice. He chose to title his art work, Twelve Papers on Modern Art, from which a selection has been brought together for this exhibition. The curators have not conformed to a chronological or stylistic narrative but have chosen thematic concerns focusing in on Imran’s interplay of abstraction and technology.
Many of the print and publicity campaigns of the 1980’s and 1990’s in Pakistan illustrated Imran’s pioneering adoption of new technologies. This sensibility evolved alongside his art practice.íŽ A display of Imran’s graphic works form a part of the exhibition and need to be viewed as an integral part of his artistic practice.
Imran rarely spoke about his work. For him, the artist’s medium was his language, iterating Frank Stella’s dictum ‘what you see is what you see’. Alchemist of Line interprets Imran Mir’s passion for science and spirituality as alchemy, a means of transforming and creating new perspectives. It marks the beginning of a journey into exploring his talent; the end is for each of us to discern.