Torch-bearer of modern art in Pakistan Zubeida Agha’s work on permanent display at the National Art Gallery (NAG) is serving the art-lovers and visitors to understand the creative intellect of women painters in the country.
The NAG of Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) has put on display some works of legends of visual art on permanent basis not only to acknowledge their contributions for the art scenes of the country but also educate the coming generations about the value of their rich history of art, said Mussarrat Naheed Imam, Director Visual Arts, PNCA while talking to APP.
The NAG dedicated one of the galleries solely to the rich and diverse collection of Zubeida Agha, the icon of modern expression in Pakistan. Her modern paintings portray explorations into a non-representational realm of art, and led other artists to discover such artistic directions within their own work.
The display also signifies the importance of creative intellect of women painters of Pakistan who survived challenges with dignity and pride and contributing towards building up country’s image to the world at large.
The show is an attempt to pay tribute to the revolutionary artist, legend and Pioneer of Modern Art, Zubeida Agha (1922-1997) and an appreciation of the creative intellect of women painters of Pakistan for actively facing challenges and contributing tremendously towards enriching the art scene of Pakistan internationally.
Zubeida Agha was the first Pakistani modern artist as after the creation of Pakistan in 1947, she was the first artist to hold an exhibition of her paintings and she helped bring the modern idiom to Pakistan.
Zubeida Agha is recognised and lauded as a premiere painter of Pakistan, who, in the changing ethos of 30s and 40s, had the courage and determination to launch a modern idiom of painting, which first baffled and later overwhelmed art critics and viewers.
She is one of the great colourists in Pakistani painting and employs colour not only for itself, but to lend veracity and meaning to her images, culled from life and restructured by her amazing imagination to provoke the viewer into thought.
In August 2006, Pakistan Post issued a sheetlet of stamps to honour 10 Pakistani painters including Zubeida Agha as a tribute to the great painters who helped to raise an awareness of art in Pakistan and established their names in the universal art world.
Born in Faisalabad, she introduced non-traditional pictorial imagery in Pakistan and initiated a new era in painting. In her early work, she attempted to explore the theme in the medium of sculpture, and also surrealistic paintings, done in sombre colours with titles ‘Wisdom’, ‘Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony’, and ‘Deserted Street’. In 1965, Zubeida Agha was Awarded the President’s Award for the Pride of Performance.