cover image Imran Qureshi: The Roof Garden Commission

Imran Qureshi: The Roof Garden Commission

Ian Alteveer, Navina Najat Haidar, and Sheena Wagstaff. Metropolitan Museum of Art (Yale Univ., dist.), $14.95 (64p) ISBN 978-0-300-19775-4

The inaugural book in a series covering the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Roof Garden commissions, this slender, vibrant volume places Pakistani artist Qureshi at the intersection of several celebrated histories into conversation with contemporary installation and architecture. For the Roof Garden, Qureshi splattered blood-red paint across the roof itself, then painted into these smears an ornate and unreal flora that approaches the sublime. Recalling both violence and contemplation, the painting is uniquely considered in relation to the landscape surrounding the museum. The text places this work alongside Qureshi's previous installations, exploring the images primarily through a long conversation with the artist. He maps his own education with traditional methods of painting and contemporary techniques, in turn illuminating a number of art historical influences on his work. Ultimately, this lands on the political dimensions of the installations, concerned as they are with the violence surrounding them. Evocative in content and brilliant in image, the book pleasantly engages even as it remains clear that there is much more that could be said about Qureshi and the striking beauty of the Roof Garden. (July)