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Bashir Mirza

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About Artist

Born in Amritsar in 1941, a maker’s son, Bashir Mirza manage to climb the ladder to fame. He made it to the Mayo School of Art (NCA) where he was one of the special favorites of the great Shakir Ali. A product of the ...

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Born in Amritsar in 1941, a maker’s son, Bashir Mirza manage to climb the ladder to fame. He made it to the Mayo School of Art (NCA) where he was one of the special favorites of the great Shakir Ali. A product of the swinging sixties, he lived his life on his own terms. His razzle dazzle art career and free spirited persona did much to popularize art, for he propelled it out into the open daring the public to see it and to think. He was an artist of extraordinary ability and versatility who first came upon the scene in after graduating from the NCA in 1962.

Bashir Mirza, a student of Shakir Ali, made a name with his pen and ink series of portraits of the common folk of . He was also responsible for setting up the first private gallery in . His ‘Lonely Girl’ series were completed and exhibited in the 70s and won him a permanent place in ’s art history. The Lonely Girl series portrayed subjects dressed in garments echoing the traditions of the subcontinent, the rich reds, oranges and browns of Rajasthan dominating the artist’s palette yet rendered in a bold, contemporary method.

Bashir Mirza always treated drawing as a separate discipline which gave his painting and drawings a singular character. He became the only artist to turn into a diplomat when he was sent as a cultural attaché to. Gifted with an intuitive sense of design and color, central to his work is the female form with a color field for a backdrop. At different periods of his career the style has varied. In the Lonely Girl, each smooth layer of color blends into the other in gentle tones. In his Acrylic Series almost a textural violence takes place as bold expressionistic strokes clash and craft images.

He wanted to be rich, famous and powerful and keep open house for his friends. He may not have had power but he did become famous as B.M. and he was loved by a large number of friends and he did also enjoy spells of financial comfort at certain stages of his career.

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Testimonials

  • BIODATA

  • About Artist

    Born in Amritsar in 1941, a maker’s son, Bashir Mirza manage to climb the ladder to fame. He made it to the Mayo School of Art (NCA) where he was one of the special favorites of the great Shakir Ali. A product of the swinging sixties, he lived his life on his own terms. His razzle dazzle art career and free spirited persona did much to popularize art, for he propelled it out into the open daring the public to see it and to think. He was an artist of extraordinary ability and versatility who first came upon the scene in after graduating from the NCA in 1962.

    Bashir Mirza, a student of Shakir Ali, made a name with his pen and ink series of portraits of the common folk of . He was also responsible for setting up the first private gallery in . His ‘Lonely Girl’ series were completed and exhibited in the 70s and won him a permanent place in ’s art history. The Lonely Girl series portrayed subjects dressed in garments echoing the traditions of the subcontinent, the rich reds, oranges and browns of Rajasthan dominating the artist’s palette yet rendered in a bold, contemporary method.

    Bashir Mirza always treated drawing as a separate discipline which gave his painting and drawings a singular character. He became the only artist to turn into a diplomat when he was sent as a cultural attaché to. Gifted with an intuitive sense of design and color, central to his work is the female form with a color field for a backdrop. At different periods of his career the style has varied. In the Lonely Girl, each smooth layer of color blends into the other in gentle tones. In his Acrylic Series almost a textural violence takes place as bold expressionistic strokes clash and craft images.

    He wanted to be rich, famous and powerful and keep open house for his friends. He may not have had power but he did become famous as B.M. and he was loved by a large number of friends and he did also enjoy spells of financial comfort at certain stages of his career.

  • Academics

    1962 Graduated From Mayo School of Art (former National College of Arts)

  • Exhibitions

    SOLO EXHIBITIONS

    1953 First exhibition at the Algerian Embassy, Karachi

    1963 Angry drawings voicing protest against oppressors at Karachi, at the residence of the Nigerian ambassador

    1966 “Portrait of Pakistan”, Karachi

    1971 “The Lonely Girl Series”, Karachi

    1978 “The Flower Girl Series”, Karachi

    1989 "Homeage to Souza", Karachi



    PARTICIPATIONS

    During his stay abroad, he participated in several art exhibitions held in Munich, London and Paris.

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