Rabia Zuberi

by Unicorn Gallery

About the book: RABIA ZUBERI Pakistan’s premier woman sculptor and the recipient of numerous national awards, has dedicated her life to art and art education in Pakistan. The Principal of the Karachi School of Art established over forty years ago, Rabia received her art education from the Lucknow College of Art, and after graduation in 1963, made her home in Karachi. Finding no art school in the city, Rabia with her sister Hajra and aided by Mansur Rahi opened the Karachi School of Art, flourishing today. In India, Rabia was awarded top honours for sculpture from National Youth Art Exhibitions, held in Calcutta and New Delhi in ’61, ’62 and ’63. In Pakistan, the changes in Rabia’s life found a reflection in her maturing work. She expressed abstract thought and feeling in form. In the 70s, she began to analyze the human anatomy working in a simplified form that gave reference to abstraction. The ‘Dignity of Labour’ series was the outcome of the work entailed in the construction of the Karachi School of Art. In the ’80s, Rabia looked at design as an element of sculpture, approaching it as a gender issue. In the ’90s the artist’s concern for the troubled city was expressed in the series: Quest for Peace. In Pakistan, Rabia Zuberi’s work has been nationally acknowledged by way of awards in 1986, 87 and 88, and in 1996 when she was awarded top honours from the 7th National Art Exhibition. In 2003, she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Pakistan National Council for the Arts. A monumental sculpture ‘Plea for Universal Peace’ is in the collection of the National Art Gallery, Islamabad.

About the author: MARJORIE HUSAIN is a Karachi based art critic and author. She has curated exhibitions in the UK, Germany and India as well as Pakistan. In 2003 she co-curated a historic retrospective exhibition at the Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi. The author has written biographies of many important artists in Pakistan, including: Anna Molka Ahmed, Ali Imam, Ahmed Parvez, Bashir Mirza, Iqbal Hussain and Colin David. She has the unique distinction of preparing Pakistan’s first art education text book: ‘Aspects of Art’. She has also documented the development of art in Karachi under the OUP title: ‘Karachi, Megacity’. In her book ‘Art Views’ she has touched upon the trail of art transformation and development in pre-and post-partition Pakistan, which touched upon the works of icons such as Chughtai, Allah Bux, Zubeida Agha, Sadequain, A.R.Nagori, Gulgee and artists of the current generation. Marjorie was also the recipient of the Fatima Jinnah Award for services to art in 2004.