Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Iqbal Geoffrey, a precursor to the miniature movement?

The Great American Landscape
His Majesty the Emperor of India with his lunch

In the works of Iqbal Geoffrey I found an interesting precedent to the contemporary miniature movement. Going through the catalogue of Geoffrey’s solo-show put up at the National Art Gallery, Islamabad, I came across some collages (dating from the 1960s and 70s) which resounded with the same sort of subversiveness that we find in the works of contemporary miniature painters like Waseem Ahmed. Artists from this movement are applauded for reinterpreting the centuries-old tradition of miniature painting, challenging its sanctity by fracturing its traditional space and introducing hybridity and cosmopolitanism.

However, it seems that Goeffrey, decades ago, had already started to experiment along similar lines, perhaps making him an important precursor. Its worth making a comparison between the collage by Geoffrey and the painting by Waseem Ahmed below for it is an amazing coincidence how similar the pose of the woman is whom both artists have placed provocatively besides Krishna.

Close-up of The Great American Landscape

Waseem Ahmed, Krishna Series