The Last of the Bohemians BASHIR MIRZA

by Unicorn Gallery

About the book: The Last of the Bohemians BASHIR MIRZA – From the time Bashir Mirza held his firat exhibition of drawings and paintings in Karachi in 1963, at the residence of the Nigerian Ambassador, he was the darling of the media. Bold, innovative and extremely talented, Bashir Mirza was one of the city’s pioneers of modern art. Bashir was outspoken, fearless, always forward thinking and he was keen to initiate a positive art ambience in Karachi, having great respect for the talent of his peers. He started the first commerical art gallery in the country in 1965, puiblished an art magazine and opened an advertising agency. In 1967, he brought out a portfolio of prints, Portraits of Pakistan, which was enormously popular. After visiting Europe, 1969-71, he returned with a collection of paintings, ‘The Lonely Girl’ that he showed for the first time in Karachi and made art history. Bashir had a host of friends from all walks of life. He surprised many in 1995, when he was appointed Pakistan’s first Cultural Attache and posted to Australia. He tired of diplomatic life and returned home in 1996 to work on his last important series showing concerns for a threatened environment. He explained that as his work had once expressed personal feelings about his life, love abd plans for the future, in the later years his concerns were for the entire universe. In 1994, Bashir Mirza was awarded the President’s Award for the Pride of Performance.

About the author: MARJORIE HUSAIN is a Karachi based art critic and author. She has curated exhibitions in the UK, Germany and India as well as Pakistan. In 2003 she co-curated a historic retrospective exhibition at the Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi. The author has written biographies of many important artists in Pakistan, including: Anna Molka Ahmed, Ali Imam, Ahmed Parvez, Bashir Mirza, Iqbal Hussain and Colin David. She has the unique distinction of preparing Pakistan’s first art education text book: ‘Aspects of Art’. She has also documented the development of art in Karachi under the OUP title: ‘Karachi, Megacity’. In her book ‘Art Views’ she has touched upon the trail of art transformation and development in pre-and post-partition Pakistan, which touched upon the works of icons such as Chughtai, Allah Bux, Zubeida Agha, Sadequain, A.R.Nagori, Gulgee and artists of the current generation. Marjorie was also the recipient of the Fatima Jinnah Award for servuces to art in 2004.