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    Sale 7585

    South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art

    11 June 2008, South Kensington

  • Lot 65

    Zahoor ul Akhlaq (1941-1999)

    Autumn II

    Price Realised  


    Zahoor ul Akhlaq (1941-1999)
    Autumn II
    acrylic on canvas
    49 7/8 x 35 in. (126.7 x 89 cm.)
    Painted in 1989

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    Painter, sculptor, and print-maker Zahoor ul Akhlaq was undoubtedly one of the most significant artists working out of Pakistan during the latter 20th century whose profound artistic and conceptual influence has shaped contemporary art practice for following generations, including Shazia Sikander and Rashid Rana. Zahoor was influenced by the master calligrapher Yusuf Dhelvi, whose work he was exposed to as a child and later underwent a Modernist phase under Shakir Ali when he was a student at the National College of Arts (NCA). Zahoor's extensive knowledge and interest in the indigenous vernacular and tradition, as well as contemporary Western thought led to his deconstruction and re-appropriation of the classical miniature allowing him to be classified as one of the pioneers of the neo-miniaturist genre.
    This work was painted while the artist was undertaking a research residency at Yale University. It is part of a series of works using very bold colour, an exceptional phase for the artist who is primarily known for his focus on black. This work uses a palette of yellow and orange monochrome inspired by the spectacular shades of changing leaves during the autumnal season in New Haven, Connecticut. The work is referential of American painters such as Joesph Albers, while also appropriating the frame structure of miniatures painting, considered by many to be Akhlaq's signature. Rather than rely on painterly symbolism, this work like many the artist produced, emphasizes a dialogue engaging with modernist abstraction and Islamic formalism found within miniatures.

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    Collection of Sheherezade Alam and Nurjahan Akhlaq

    Pre-Lot Text



    New Haven, Yale University School of Art and Architecture, 1989
    Hull, Canada, Galerie Montcalm, 1989