Zubeida Agha – pioneer of non-traditional pictorial imagery


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 in 1945, Agha began a study of Western art.
In addition to copying old masters, she came into contact with contemporary Indian paintings 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 colours reminiscent of both fauvism and Rajput miniatures. She died in 1997. Photos courtesy VASL Art