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Monday, 7 May 2012

Bashir Mirza (1941 -2000) “The Lonely Girl





Bashir Mirza (1941 -2000)


Bashir Mirza, known as BM in the art world, was born in Amritsar. His father was a woodwork designer. He came to Pakistan on August 14, 1947. After graduating from National College of Arts with distinction in 1962. Bashir set off for Karachi to seek fame and fortune. On the strength of his work he was offered a job at the Pakistan Security Corporation in 1962. But he was impatient to explore other avenues and handed in his registration. Soon after leaving his first post, Bashir joined an advertising agency, where his creative ability outweighed his resistance to routine. His salary increased and he learned a lot about the business of advertising and public relations. Bashir planned to open an Art Gallery at the end of 1965, it was a milestone of an art event. Artists of Lahore and Karachi contributed work to the premiere exhibition and a select group of invitees, artists, the media, diplomats and VIPs attended the smart reception.During the gallery years Bashir painted a large body of work. He was above all a figurative painter; the human form and how it mirrored individual emotions fascinated him. As a device, he incorporated contrasting abstract elements in his work, very individual and very much of his own style. From 1969 to 1971, he visited Germany and on return painted two very striking series, which he called “The Lonely Girl” series and “Flower Flowers” series. This series heralded a major period in Bashir's creative maturity, highlighting the artist\'s superb manipulation of his medium and brilliant sense of composition. In the first, lightly clad females were shown in dramatic poses with billowing costumes of diaphanous material with bright colours. In the second, square canvases were filled with a woman\'s head and a magnified flower. In 1989 he painted on large canvases some of the faces he had drawn in pen and ink in his portfolio "People of Pakistan". From 1990 till death he had been painting in thick brush strokes vigorously applied, under the influence of the Indian artist F.N. Souza, but with brighter colours and more attractive forms, with great spontaneity. He was awarded President's Award for the Pride of Performance in 1994.


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