KARACHI: Father of Pakistani art, Painter Zahoor-ul-Akhlaq is being remembered today on his death anniversary today (Wednesday).
Zahoor-ul-Akhlaq was born on February 4, 1941 in Delhi, India. His family moved to Lahore in 1947 during the partition, eventually settling in Karachi. Akhlaq was a groundbreaking artist from Pakistan working primarily in painting, sculpture and graphic design.
He is widely renowned for his innovative artistic practice as well as his influence on contemporary Pakistani artists. He has been called 'the father of contemporary Pakistani Art' by curator, historian and critic Salima Hashmi.
Akhlaq broke away from the strict modernist education that he was well versed in and began to re work Islamic influences such as calligraphy, miniature painting, and geometrical abstraction in his work.
Beyond the formalism that he is generally known for he embraced the folk, vernacular of his time. His oeuvre spans many art historical, philosophical and cultural references and is difficult to categorize.
A forthcoming study of his work by Roger Connah is due to be published in 2012.
The logo the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in Karachi was designed by him. In 1981, he designed 2 of a set of 5 stamps issued to mark the Third Islamic Summit Conference at Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
The gallery at National College of Arts, Lahore is named in his memory as is the gallery at the Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture, Karachi. He also received Sitara-i-Imtiaz (2005) in recognition of his contribution to the arts and education.
He died on January 18, 1999. SAMAA