Ahmed Khan

Ahmed Khan is thought of as Pakistan’s greatest living calligraphic artist. His work comprises overlaid calligraphic designs based on silver foil pressed on canvas which with a sprinkle of chemicals turns them into vibrant colours. His calligraphic forms are meticulously applied on this base. Ahmed Khan’s renditions spark with spirituality. It is the oneness of God and a matter of peace which takes place on his canvases.  At every exhibition he comes up with new compositions. One finds ovals, circles and semi circles with splashes of mystifying light creating an impression close to what Khan is going through metaphysically. Another obvious symbol on his canvases is a seal. This small motif in various colours as per requirement of colour aesthete adds beauty as well as sanctity to the paintings. Earlier, in his talks the stress was on the colour and technicalities of his paintings. With passing years, he tends more towards philosophizing upon metaphysical element in his work. Besides his concept, Khan’s compositions, his lettering and colours appeal to the eye and render a value for the future.

Date of Birth:     1938 SahjehanPur, UP, India.

Qualification:    Joined National College of Arts in 1963 as lecturer in Graphic Design and served the institution till 1988, also remained Head of Department during the tenure.

Awards and Destinations:

1996       Shakir Ali Award, highest recognition for the best modern painter of the year.

1987        Awarded first prize in painting Lahore Biennials International Exhibition

1983 – 84   Awarded first prize in sculpture National Exhibition Islamabad.

1976         Awarded Fellowship National College of Arts Lahore.

1963         Kipling Award, highest recognition for best graduate of the National College of Arts.

Selected Shows:

2006        Lantern of the East, the 16th Pyeongtaek International Art Festival At Pyeongtaek Museum, Korea.

2006   Transcending Borders, Organized by Ejaz art gallery, Lahore, at ITC Maurya Sheraton & Towers, Delhi, India.


2005    Art of giving, Indus Inspirations, auction and exhibition at Long Room at Lords Cricket Ground. London, UK.

2005   One 2 One, 58 years 58 artists 58 works at Alhamra Art Gallery Organized by Lahore arts council Lahore, Pakistan.

2005   Diverse Voices, Contemporary from Pakistan Organized by Croweater   Gallery Lahore, at The Omani Society For arts, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.

2003 – 05    Group shows in India, Malaysia, China, Iran, and Canada.

2000           Participated in an exhibition another vision Asia House, London.

1995 – 96   Participated in exhibition of Pakistani artists in Asian Pacific Museum California U.S.A.

Solo Exhibition:

2000      Image of Faith Clifton Art Gallery, Karachi Pakistan.

2001      Clifton Art Gallery Karachi.

2003      Canvas Art Gallery Karachi, image of faith.

Professional Achievement:

2001      Presented Pakistan in Calligraphy Biennale Sharja Museum, UAE.

1995 – 97   Designed and executed the total interior art work of National Assembly Hall, using the technique of silver and gold leaves with chemical reactions and transparent colors.

1994 – 97   Established an art workshop for creative activities for freelance artists and continued Experimenting with various mediums and evolved unique technique of painting with silver  leaves and chemical reactions and completed several commissioned art projects for leading banks and investment corporations such as Al-Faisal Islamic Investment Bank and Askari  Commercial Bank.

1991 – 93   Designed and executed calligraphic sculptural monument Alif-Lam-Meem at Lahore Cantt, Pakistan.

1988 – 90   Designed and executed Girja Chowk environmental monument at Lahore Cantt. Pakistan.

1985 – 86   Designed and executed environmental sculptures for Lahore Zoo, Pakistan.

1984 – 85   Designed and executed Shaheed monument Nowshera, Pakistan.

1983 – 84    Designed and executed comprehensive environmental art work for Civil aviation Authority Campus, executed monuments, sculptures, paintings and environmental graphics. Hyderabad, Pakistan.

1981 – 82    Designed and executed monument for Lahore and Islamabad airports, Pakistan.

1973 – 76    Carried out a mass media communication research program throughout Pakistan for the Central Ministry of Education.

1972 – 73     Design and executed a monument struggle of independence at Islamabad, Pakistan.

1970 – 71     Invited to the printmaking workshop at Venice, Italy.

1966 – 71     Worked with eminent American print maker Ponce de Leon, these prints were included in Congress Library and Smithsonian Institute collection. This work was also reproduced in PRAT Institute Graphic Annual and was exhibited in Tokyo Printmaking Biennial.

1963 – 65    Carried out folk art research program throughout Pakistan, organized and represented Exhibition of Folk Art in Common Wealth Art Festival at the Royal Festival Hall London. Participated in many national and international group shows and his work can be seen at many Private and government buildings and also with private collectors. His work has also been reproduced in most of the national and international art publications.