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Friday, 11 May 2012

Ali Imam


Ali Imam (1924-2002)Ali Imam started painting in 1941 when he joined the evening classes of the Nagpur School of Art. He held his first one-man show at Rawalpindi in 1952. Included in this exhibition were watercolour street scenes of Lahore of pastoral activity, such as winnowing, threshing by village women. After graduating from Gordon College, Rawalpindi, in 1949; he worked with peasants in villages as a Communist party worker till 1951. His observation of village life was projected in his paintings, like Punjabi village women at their homely tasks, churning curd to make butter, grinding corn and pounding spices with mortar, the women sat on low high-backed chairs, typical of rural Punjab. In his work figures are utterly simplified and are heavily swathed in loose garments.Ali Imam went to London in 1956 where he lived till 1967. On his return, he developed a simple yet sophisticated style in which human figures, horses and other objects were shown in his paintings with soft subdued greys, blues, browns and yellows and neutral colours. Later his design quality became less but great emphasis given on the text of the paint. For this he laid pigment on pigment in related hues in such dots and patches so that the lower layers glimmered through and certain colours vibrations were created.Ali Imam was of the first generation of Pakistan artists and promoter. From 1970 till 2002 he was running the Indus Gallery Karachi where many notable artists have held their first shows. His sole aim was to promote artist, create a public awareness and educate art collectors, May 23, 2002, was the day, when a very important chapter of Pakistan art history closed. He was awarded Tamgha-i-Imtiaz and President's Award for the Pride of Performance.



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