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Jamil Naqsh View Artworks of Jamil Naqsh Back to Artist

His paintings exhibit a sophisticated delicacy that is difficult to match; also there is an architectural or 3D like quality about his works. While looking at his paintings, one gets a sense that one is not looking at a still image but a sort of a visual film, one senses movement and flux in the images. Such is the sheer brilliance of his work.

Jamil Naqsh was born in 1938 in Kairana in Uttar Pradesh.  But, following the partition of the subcontinent in 1947, he moved to Karachi in Pakistan. In 1953, he enrolled at the National College Art (then Mayo College) in Lahore, but was unable to complete his education there, After a period of 2 years, he left the college to pursue studies on his own.

A maverick of sorts, Jamil Naqsh charted his own course in art education by undergoing rigorous training in various styles of miniature painting under the guidance of Ustad Mohammad Sharif. The idea was to understand the underlying aesthetic structure of miniature paintings. Although, Jamil Naqsh’s painting style does not directly reflect miniature traditions, their emphasis on the dominance of line became integral in his works regardless of the style or subject. It is said that under the tutelage of Ustad Mohammad Sharif, Naqsh imbibed a lifelong discipline of beginning to work with the first rays of the sun and continue till evening. As opposed to many of his contemporaries who were delving deep into western art forms, he sought to understand and absorb the spirit of his roots in order to study modern art movements from a vantage point of strength .

Naqsh’s mature style is a blend of cubism – in the way he treats form and texture – tempered with fluidity and a subtle use of colour. Naqsh has painted the female form in many of his canvases replete with poise and grace. In another series of paintings he pairs pigeons and doves with the female form, symbolic of love, peace and gentleness

Naqsh’s work has been exhibited extensively in Pakistan, India, the UK and the UAE. Between 1960 and 68 he served as Co-Editor of Seep, an Urdu literary magazine, and between 1970 and 73 as President of the Pakistan Painters Guild. Among the artist’s many honours are medals and awards from the Pakistan Art Council, Karachi; the Ministry of Culture, Pakistan; and the Arts Council of Pakistan. In 2009, Naqsh was awarded the Sitara-e Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan, and in 2003, a retrospective of his work was held at the Mohatta Palace Museum in Karachi, a rare honour for a living artist.

Jamil Naqsh passed away in London in May 2019.




  Studied in National College of Arts, Lahore, for two years


Selected Solo Exhibitions

  2009 ‘Jamil Naqsh Pays Homage To Pablo Picasso’, Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2005 ‘Jamil Naqsh’, The Studio Glass Gallery @ Thomas Goode, London

  2003 ‘Jamil Naqsh: A Retrospective’, Mohatta Palace Museum

  2001 ‘Magic of the Line’, Momart Art Gallery, Karachi

  2001 Jamil Naqsh Museum, Karachi

  1999 Formal Inaugration, Jamil Naqsh Museum, Karachi

  1996 Homage to Marino Marini, Momart Art Gallery, Karachi

  1996 Establishment of Jamil Naqsh Foundation and Museum, Karachi

  1967 Pakistan Arts Council, Karachi

  1963 Pakistan Arts Council, Karachi

  1962 Pakistan Arts Council, Karachi

  1959 Karachi Council of Arts, Karachi

Selected Group Exhibitions

  2012 ‘The Nude’, Albemarle Gallery, London

  2007 ‘The Trinity Revealed’, Gandhara Art Gallery, Kolkata

  2006 ‘A Glimpse of Trinity’, Pakistani Master's Show at gandhara-art.com(Pakistan's first virtual exhibition)

  2006 ‘Ibteda: The Beginning’, at gandhara-art.com

  2006 The Park Hotel and Habiart Gallery, New Delhi

  2006 ‘Pakistani Master's Show’, Park Hotel, New Delhi

  2003 Private Collection of Najmi Sura

Honours and Awards

  2003 Subject of an extensive retrospective exhibition at the Mohatta Palace, the only artist to have been thus honored in his lifetime

  1989 President's Pride of Performance Award

  1980 Shakir Ali Award, Ministry of Culture, Government of Pakistan

  1962 Gold Medal, Pakistan Arts Council, Karachi

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