Urdu Art: 5+ Amazing Artists You Must Know Today!

Even if you can’t understand or read Urdu, Urdu art can help you connect with the locals in a unique way as well. What makes it interesting is that art has the capacity to help you learn more about the painter and what he is trying to say with every piece. At the very least, we can consider it a communication form. Want to learn more about Urdu art? If yes, then keep reading below!

History Of Urdu Art And Artists

The first well-known contemporary Indian Muslim artist was Abdur Rahman Chughtai (1894–1975). He started painting at a young age and attended the Mayo School of Art in Lahore in about 1911. His latter works feature feminine figures dressed in intricate layers in arabesque interiors. In 1958, the National College of Arts replaced the Mayo School of Art. In 1948, Zainul Abedin established Dhaka’s renowned Institute of Fine Arts.

However, there’s so much more to learn about Urdu art and artists! With that said, keep reading below!

Zubeida Agha

The first shot in Pakistani art was “Fired” by Zubeida Agha’s 1949 solo show of her daring paintings. Greek philosophy, western art, music, spirituality, and her interest in the urban all impacted her.

Many artists like her could communicate their personal and societal dilemmas in more complexly complicated ways via modernism than through reality. Calligraphic modernism developed into an increasingly popular style of expression throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

Zubeida Agha, Shakir Ali, and others delved further into graphic allegories for moral and social quandaries than was feasible at the time via open discussion.


Sadequain mapped out a specific creative course. He stayed loyal to the government throughout Islamization in the 1970s and 1980s, which supported calligraphy. He was the first to show elements of transgressive Sufism, and he became even more popular because of it.

Rasheed Araeen

Rasheed Araeen has created geometric and constructivist-based art while fighting racism and injustice. Expressionist paintings by AR Nagori portray the bizarre excesses of General Ziaul Haq’s administration and the symbolic features of Sindh’s indigenous people. Because of his unique impressions, many of the Pakistani artists after him started experimenting with media traditionally unimportant to Pakistani art, such as performance and video.

Amin Gulgee And Others

Amin Gulgee, a sculptor, established a regular venue to encourage performance art in Karachi. As time passed, several artists like Bashir Ahmad, Naazish Ata-Ullah, Jamil Baloch, and Colin David also became art educators in Karachi. They have recently served as faculty members at the National College of Arts. Due to its status as a public university, it accepts a varied student population that crosses urban and rural lines. 

Today, Pakistani artists are looking into novel approaches to producing and exhibiting their works. Numerous well-known and avant-garde public art initiatives have received funding from the Lahore Biennale Foundation. According to the locals, one big problem the art industry faces is the lack of exposure to the study of the humanities, social sciences, and critical theory.

Urdu Calligraphy

Urdu Art

Now that you have learned about the different phases of Urdu art and the struggle of different artists, let’s introduce you to what defines Urdu art the most: Urdu calligraphy.

Islamic calligraphy/Islamic Art is the Arabic calligraphy that enhances the beauty of Urdu Calligraphy. You can also find lovely Persian poetry engraved as a piece of Urdu calligraphy. Arab calligraphic handwriting looks magnificent as decoration pieces in homes.

Urdu calligraphy is regarded as art and is frequently used to form poetry, a proverb, a person’s name, or a title. A calligrapher may use fractal patterns or occasionally depictions of things or animals in their work. Situational molding is used in the Arabic, Urdu, and Persian alphabets, which means that each character’s appearance varies based on where it appears in the word.

There are several calligraphic types to choose from. Here are a few prominent examples:

  • Kufic 
  • Tuluth
  • Cursive
  • Diwani
  • Naskh

Each company, art shop, and painter creates magnificent pieces of Art in Pakistan. Each painting print (e.g., oblong painting) based on the subjects’ shape is made beautifully; food and love painting prints are pretty standard.

Future Of Pakistani Art

In the years to come, it is estimated that the number of artists in the Urdu art industry will continue to rise. It is said that not only will we see several traditional arts coming back to life, but we will also finally see new digital arts as well! Thanks to the popularity of several art-based software and apps, many of the younger generations are starting to become more aware of the options they have when it comes to art.

In fact, if you will visit popular sites like Fiverr or Upwork, you’ll see that many are even turning a profit from art alone! With this said, we can say that gone are the days when we think that there’s no money in art. Seeing the trends, local corporations, non-profit organizations, and the government in Pakistan are taking bold steps to empower the locals to express themselves using art.

Wrapping Up

Urdu Art

That’s it for this blog post! Now you must be aware of the different phases of Urdu Art, the artists who contributed to it, the contemporary form, and the most probable future. If you look forward to knowing more such facts, check out the Ling App. 

Ling App is the best for you if you are learning the Urdu language. It gives you a complete lesson to help you improve your vocabulary, grammar, and speaking skills! On top of that, it comes with several additional resources like updated blog posts so that you can learn more based on your interest. So what are you waiting for? Download the app from Google Playstore or App Store and start learning the Urdu language.

Happy Learning!

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