Zubeida Agha was born in Faisalabad in 1922. She introduced non-traditional pictorial imagery in Pakistan and initiated a new era in painting. She completed a degree in political science at Kinnaird College, Lahore. Her introverted disposition and concentrated study of philosophy formed the background against which her abstract ‘idea’ paintings emerged. At the Lahore School of Fine Art (1945), Agha began a study of Western art. In addition to copying Old Masters, she came into contact with contemporary Indian painting and folk art. She was the first artist in Pakistan to have an exhibition of modern paintings. Trained in both Pakistan and Europe, she developed an approach to painting that reflected her education and experience. Her images of landscapes and people are simplified forms made with a variety of vibrant colors reminiscent of both Fauvism and Rajput miniatures. She died in 1997.In her early work, she attempted to explore the theme in the medium of sculpture, and also surrealistic paintings, done in somber colours with titles ‘Wisdom’, ‘Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony’, and ‘Deserted Street’.Offered an art scholarship in 1950, Zubeida enrolled at St. Martin’s School of Arts, London, but six months later transferred to the Ecole des Beau Arts, Paris, and there she began her serious study of art.Her opinions on modern art developments were definite. “What is the point of painting problems, does it solve anything?” “Galleries are more interested in sales than standards and the artists are complicit in this.” “Without sincerity there is no true art.”In 1965, Zubeida Agha was Awarded the President’s Award for the Pride of Performance.

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