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Thursday, 17 May 2012

Askari Mian Irani (1940-2004)




Askari Mian Irani (1940-2004)Askari Mian Irani graduated from National College of Art, Lahore in 1967 in Commercial Design and not painting, which he would have personally preferred, but his father wanted to see him as commercial designer. Till 1976, he remained in the business of advertising, but became disillusioned and dissatisfied with the nature of his job. His first love and passion had always been painting and he felt that his potential as painter was being stifled. So a job opening in the design department of National College of Art, seemed timely. In 1976 he came back to Lahore, joined National College of Art as  Assistant Professor of design, and was promoted to Associate Professor till his retirement in 2000. In his mature work, Askari developed a new style, assimilating alphabets, syllables and numerical. Architectural elements both structural and decorative, equestrian figures in princely costumes, derived from the country visions of Mughal India, were all part of his idiom. Glowing with colours, rich with textures, his paintings show a vast variation in the use of eastern motifs. Askari plucks them from their traditional context to place them in visually different and exiting variations, making paintings come alive with a fresh immediacy. His paintings communicate to viewers on different levels and can be appreciated equally by those for whom the motifs mean something, as well as those for whom they are no more than elements of design. He was awarded the President's Award for the Pride of Performance in 2002.



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