|Bashir Mirza (BM)|
Portrait of Bashir Mirza by Muhammad Arshad Khan, also known as "MAK"
Early life and education
Born in Amritsar, British India in 1941, Mirza joined the Mayo School of Arts (now National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore, where he was one of favourites of Shakir Ali. He graduated in 1962 from the department of design and was amongst the first batch of graduates of the renamed school.
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He never stayed for long with one theme or style, fluctuating between realistic, abstract and non-objective styles. Mirza looked out for new ventures of earning a living. He opened an art gallery (the first ever in Karachi) at Kutchery Road in 1965 but in 1969 left town to go abroad. He also published an Art Journal called Artistic Pakistan but in 1968 sold it off. Atelier BM opened in the 1970s. He was by then running an advertising agency cum gallery and came back to art again in 1998.
He exhibited his controversial "Lonely Girl" series in 1971.
The "Lonely Girl" series was shown and gifted to the Seoul Museum when he was invited by the Seoul Olympic Committee. His exhibition "DAWN OF DEMOCRACY" was inaugurated by Begum Nusrat Bhutto and sporadic highs and lows followed in his career. In 1994 Mirza departed for Australia as Pakistan's cultural attache. By then he was sick. On his return, there were subsequent lukewarm exhibitions, the latest being at Chawkandi in August 1999.
Mirza designed two stamps of the 1963 stamp series "Freedom from Hunger".
On 14 August 2006, Pakistan Post issued a Rs. 40 sheetlet stamps to posthumously honour 10 Pakistani Painters. Besides Bashir Mirza, the other 9 painters are: Laila Shahzada, Zubeida Agha, Sadequain, Ali Imam, Shakir Ali, Anna Molka Ahmed, Zahoor ul Akhlaq, Ahmed Pervez and Askari Mian Irani.
- Pride of Performance (1995)
- NCA and Stamp Design, Exhibition Souvenir, Lahore 2000, p. 6
- Husain, Marjorie. Basir Mirza: The Last of the Bohemians. Karachi: Post Office Foundation Press, 2006.