She rose above words and imagination, viewing the ordinary with a new eye to create eternal pieces of Islamic art. To commemorate the second anniversary of Lubna’s passing, Najwa Abdullah speaks to her husband Yusuf about her inspiring life.
Born in 1949 in Quetta, Pakistan, Lubna Agha was an accomplished realist whose works are widely celebrated as part of a revolutionary Islamic art movement in both figurative and non-figurative abstracts. As a precocious pre-teen, she had shown a sharp artistic bend and enrolled as a full-time student at Karachi School of Art, where she soon started winning competitions and gold medals.
In her initial years in the art world, Lubna was impressed by the works of modern masters abroad and moved quickly to the pure abstract with great success at an early age. At the age of 22, she sent ripples through the Pakistani art world by becoming the first female artist to hold a solo show of abstract paintings at the prestigious Arts Council.
Her husband Yusuf on Lubna: “She was inspired by the painstaking meditative precision of the Muslim artisan; their patient repetitive strokes almost like a believer’s chant in prayer. It was this method that she emulated in her paintings on wood and canvas. Several were large works painstakingly produced over months of devoted effort.”
“Till the end of her life she painted intricate Islamic motifs for hours each day.”
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