Zahoor ul Akhlaq (1941-1999) was a pioneering artist whose practice and teaching has influenced generations. His art spans a variety of media that includes painting, print making, sculpture, architecture and graphic design. He is widely regarded as a late modernist, arguably the first conceptualist, and the ‘architect’ behind the Contemporary Miniature movement originating from the National College of Arts in Lahore.
In his practice, Zahoor ul Akhlaq sought to create a dialogue with the viewer on canvas (and other media) making them an active participant in the reading of the work. Akhlaq trained under the strong modernist influence of Shakir Ali at The National College of Arts in Lahore. He consistent experimentation and distinctive approach imbibed ‘traditional’ influences such as Islamic calligraphy, Mughal Miniatures, folk art, architecture, as well as his interests in Western art history, philosophy, and literature. As a person who was deeply rooted in his culture, his contributions as a practitioner and a teacher are still felt and respected. His oeuvre eludes easy categorization.
A monograph on the artist is forthcoming.
For enquires related to The Estate of Zahoor ul Akhlaq, and his archive please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Books / References:
Modern Art in Pakistan, History, Tradition, Place. by Simone Wille. Routledge, India
The Rest is Silence. by Roger Connah. Oxford University Press, Karachi.
Hanging Fire, Contemporary Art From Pakistan (Asia Society). Salima Hashmi. Yale University Press