Aisha Khalid is one of Pakistan’s leading artists, with a prominent reputation both internationally and within her own country. Khalid’s exhibition at Pump House Gallery will be her first solo show in a UK public gallery and the most comprehensive survey of her work to date. Illuminating her diverse practice that shifts from exquisite, small-scale paintings on wasli paper to newer media such as video, this exhibition will bring together past and new works commissioned by the gallery.
Part of a developing phenomenon of a younger generation of artists from Pakistan, Khalid has positively responded to the highly skilled tradition of Mughal miniature painting, and rather than rejecting it has revitalised the medium with contemporary issues, ideas and subject matter.
Asserting that ‘my work is totally tied up with my life’, personal narrative and social comment run side by side. The ornate, decorative surface of her paintings often belie a socio-political content; cultural expectations and stereotyping, oppression of women (including those in Western society) and global politics following the aftermath of 9/11. The formal and aesthetic qualities of the historical miniature are also explored in her practice with a respect for the tradition as well as its potential for contemporary critical enquiry, self-expression and social subversion.
This exhibition will provide a unique opportunity to see a selection of Khalid’s paintings from both public and private collections from all over the world including China, Pakistan, Holland, Italy and UK. It will chart her development from early traditional figurative miniatures, work situating the faceless burqah clad figure in claustrophobic interiors, to her current larger scale paintings of geometric and organic patterning that hints at a more coded iconography and meaning.
Aisha Khalid was born in 1972 in Faisalabad, Pakistan and currently lives and works in Lahore. She completed her degree in miniature painting in 1972 at the National College of Arts, Lahore where she then went onto teach the subject and in 2000 undertook a two-year residency at the world famous Rijksakademie, Amsterdam. Khalid has exhibited widely in Europe, USA, Australia and Asia including international biennials and art fairs and has artwork in collections worldwide.
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