Zahoor Ul Akhlaq

Zahoor ul Akhlaq (1941–1999) played a seminal role in the conceptual dialogue with miniature painting. As a student in 1960s London, Akhlaq began exploring the formal innovations of 17th-century Mughal and Persian painting to create a contemporary language. He began juxtaposing the fluid spaces and floating spaces of Asian art with pop art and colour field painting. By the 1970s the grid became dominant in Akhlaq’s work- a construct embedded in both Islamic geometry and modernism. Eventually the grid was replaced by frames: Akhlaq contrasted these with the illusionist view through an open window. “Division of space is very important in Oriental paintings’ and’ I am very affected by this concept, also by the rhythm of calligraphy.”