Shakir Ali is known as one of the pioneers of contemporary art in the sub-continent. Born in the pre partition era; he went to Europe and stayed in the cities which were known as the cradle of art. He studied under well known artists and returned to Pakistan in 1951. He joined the Mayo School of Art (National College of Arts) and later took over as the principal. An introvert at heart, his sentiments is depicted in his paintings. His style influenced many artists and his students included some great names of his time.
Zahoor-ul-Akhlaq was another revered Pakistani artist who brought honor to the country. His style is defined as modern but with roots deeply etched in the traditional styles. He was a calligrapher, a teacher at the NCA and a visiting professor in some universities of the world. His work was exhibited the world over and he inspired and influenced many artists of his time and those who came later.
Zubeida Agha was also one of the pioneers of modern art in Pakistan. Blessed with rich imagination and a unique style of painting she generously used colors to express her feelings and observations on the canvas. Agha received her training in Pakistan and abroad and holds the distinction of being the first artist to have her exhibition of modern art.
Bashir Mirza a painter par excellence was often in the limelight for his bold paintings. The theme of his paintings varied as did his style. His Lonely Girl series shook the world of art; on one hand he was criticized for his brashness then on the other hand he was praised for his bold attempt.
Another big name in the world of painting in Pakistan is Anna Molka Ahmed. A pioneer of fine arts and a professor of fine arts in the University of Punjab, Ana Molka’s style is heavily inspired by French Impressionism.