Riffat Alvi is a Karachi based artist, curator and art promoter. She is an artist of considerable repute; having graduated from Karachi School of Arts in 1973, she has worked for the Sindh Small Industries as a designer travelling across Sindh, studying local artisans and their craft.
As the Director of the VM Art Gallery, since its inception in 1987, which she has been running for the past 32 years, she strives to bring international art and artists to Karachi, recognising aspiring talent and promoting emerging artists, giving them a platform to launch themselves via the gallery.
Alvi is a modernist; she primarily creates her works with natural earth pigments, clay and twigs, which she has sourced from all over Pakistan and from her journeys, having travelled widely for exhibitions, international residencies and workshops. Her paintings are often heavily textured and give the appearance of archeological finds. She also makes use of smoke on paper and wood, creating dark ghost-like silhouettes that emerged in her work, a culmination of her thoughts depicting the violence in Karachi during the 90s.
Riffat Alvi’s paintings are showcased at notable institutions, embassies and galleries in the country, as well as UK, Germany, Italy France, Iran, Nepal and Zimbabwe.