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 Shakir Ali
April 19, 1990

Shakir Ali

A commemorative postage stamp on the Painters of Pakistan (Series)(Late) Shakir Ali (19161975) :

Modern Pakistani Artist : National College of Arts LahoreIssued by Pakistan

Issued on Apr 19, 1990

Issued for : To commemorate the works of renowned painters of Pakistan, Pakistan Post Office has decided to bring out a series of postage stamps on the ‘PAINTERS OF PAKISTAN’. The first stamp in the “PAINTERS OF PAKISTAN” series which is being issued on April 19, 1990 of Re. 1/- denomination depicts the famous calligraphic work of (late) Shakir Ali containing the following urdu verse of the illustrious poet Mirza Asadullah Khan ‘Ghalib’.p733_ghalib-quote

Designer : Adil Salahuddin

Type : Stamp, Postal Used

Denomination : Rs. 1/-

Colour : Multi colour

Size of Stamp : 57.30 x 32.5 mm

Size of Print : 54.00 x 28.5 mm

Perforation : 13C

Paper : 102 gsm dual purpose coated PVA gum

Quantity : Five million

Number of stamps in a sheet : 24 (4 x 6 rows)

Process of Printing : Litho Offset

Printer : Pakistan Security Printing Corporation

Name : Shakir Ali

Born on 1916 at Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, British India

Died on Jan 27, 1975 at Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan

About : 

  • Professor Shakir Ali, the pioneer of modern art in Pakistan, was born at Rampur (India) in 1916. His early schooling was done at Jamia Millia, Delhi and Philanders Smith College, Naini Tal where his penchant for the art was evident in those days. This led him to paint at the Ukil Brothers Studio in New Delhi in 1937.
  • In 1938, he joined Sir J. J. School of Arts, Bombay and obtained the diploma in drawing and painting in 1944. The following year he held scholarship for post-diploma studies in mutual decoration under Charles Garrard, the Director. He was then appointed ‘Fellow’ of Sir J. J. School of Arts, Bombay, in 1945 he was associated with the Bombay Contemporary Art Group, and travelled in South India to study Indian architecture, fresco painting and bronzes.
  • His visit to England in 1946 was to prove a turning point in his artistic career. There he underwent training in two identically opposite ways and styles. In the Slade School of Art, London University he went through the rigorous of conventional and classical artistic training and got his diploma in Fine Arts in 1949. For sometime then he worked with Andre Lhote in the South of France. In 1950 he was awarded a scholarship by the Czeck Ministry of Education through the British Council and studied textile designing at the School of Industrial Design in Prague. In Prague he was also associated with the Textile Corporation as external designer and then travelled through the Middle East during the following year.
  • The training in traditional painting at Slade School and the textile designing at Prague coupled with a study of Cezanne had a profound impact on Shakir Ali’s work. He had developed an abstract style of his own with a mastery over structural problems.
  • In 1952 he came to Pakistan and joined the Mayo School of Art, Lahore. The time was propitious for rebellion in the arts. A whole generation of young artists was frantically searching for new ways of expression. In Shakir Ali they found the leader for the modern movement in Pakistan. Later, he became Head of Art Department in National College of Arts and in 1961 he was appointed the Principal of the institution.
  • His work has been exhibited in several one-man and group exhibitions at home and abroad : at Sao Paulo at the 3rd Biennial (1953), at the Punjab University Department of Fine Arts (1956), at Pakistan Arts Council Karachi (1957), among others.
  • He won the President’s Medal for Pride of Performance in painting in 1962.
  • At the age of 59, Shakir Ali died of paralysis, in Mayo Hospital Lahore on January 27, 1975.
  • Late Professor Shakir Ali once said I want my studio-home to be a place which artists, students and art lovers may freely visit. Today, Shakir Ali Museum is not only a homage to the memory of the great painter but also a fulfilment of his wishes.
  • The house, with its winding staircase, high-ceilinged rooms, burnt bricks and multi-level structure came up under the artist’s personal and creative attention. The choice of wood and the carvings on the doors and other fittings make it a fascinating blend of the Gothic and Swati folk styles, giving the house a definite architectural personality.
  • Pakistan National Council of the Arts purchased this house from the legal heirs of the late Professor to convert it into a Museum and art gallery, in keeping with its aim of preserving and promoting the arts in the country.
  • In the Museum dedicated to the memory of late Professor Shakir Ali, his belongings and personal effects have been displayed in the drawing-dining and bed rooms, the way the artist used them in his life time. His paintings, drawings and other works of art have been placed in the corridor and gallery, for permanent display.
  • (Courtesy : Pakistan National Council of the Arts).
  • Issued by The Director General, Pakistan Post Office, Islamabad.
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