Zubeida Agha's Artistic Career
This folder contains a selection of Agha's exhibition catalogues, collected writing, personal photographs, and clippings reviewing her exhibitions and art dated between 1948 and 2012. The exhibition catalogues include a travelling group show about Pakistan's most significant artists which she participated in, as well as her local and international solo exhibitions. The folder also contains a personal scrapbook that holds an assemblage of clippings about her exhibitions and the controversy surrounding her first show in 1949, which is thought to be the first exhibition of modern art in Pakistan. The collection provides an insightful glimpse into Agha's practice as an artist and the reception of her work.
Agha studied Philosophy at the Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore, and graduated in 1944. That same year, she was introduced to artist B.C. Sanyal through her brother Agha Abdul Hamid — a noted art critic, who was also involved in Pakstan's institution-building process as Agha was. She attended classes at Sanyal's studio, the Lahore Fine Arts School, and learnt the basics of drawing and painting from him. In 1946, Hamid introduced her to Mario Perlingieri, an Italian prisoner of War and a self-proclaimed student of Picasso. Agha went on to join Central Saint Martins, London on a scholarship in 1950. She had her first international solo show at the Trafford Gallery, London, in 1951, before moving to Paris to study at l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts. She had a solo exhibition there at the Galerie Henri Tronche in 1952. She then returned to Pakistan and settled in Karachi where she lived and worked in until 1961. From 1961 to her death in 1997, Agha lived in the twin cities Rawalpindi and Islamabad.