Lahore, Pakistan

Zahoor ul Akhlaq, Radio Photo of Objects Unidentified, 1983, etching, 19 7⁄8 × 15 3⁄4”.

Zahoor ul Akhlaq

Zahoor ul Akhlaq Gallery

We see a ghostly gray-white rendition of what looks like a page from a Mughal manuscript. The calligraphic script, a lighter shade of pale, is illegible. The mock-up of the manuscript is contained within a gray-edged white border, which is in turn framed by another gray-edged white margin. A frame within a frame, framed by another frame, the painting draws us in, only to perplex us further. Where does the work begin and its border end? Is this a finished painting or a primed canvas waiting to become one? Untitled, 1989, was one of the enigmatic canvases on view at “Persistence of Vision: Zahoor ul Akhlaq in Retrospect.” Including paintings, prints, collages, sculptures, maquettes, and archival material made between 1965 and 1998, the exhibition, curated by Akhlaq’s daughter, Nurjahan Akhlaq, was the first solo show dedicated to the late artist at a major institution in Pakistan since his

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