Imam, Syed Ali

Date: 1924-2002

Syed Ali Imam, often referred to as Ali Imam, grew up in a family of artists. One of the most prominent figures in the development of modern art in Pakistan, he was deeply influenced by the 1947 partition of Pakistan and India; shaping his Marxists beliefs and his membership of the Communist Party, leading to his imprisonment on three occasions.

In 1956, after years of living under surveillance, Imam moved to London, where he lived for ten years and widely exhibited his art. On his return to Pakistan, he became the principal of the Central Institute of Arts and Crafts. He opened the Indus Gallery in Karachi in 1971, which would represent Pakistan’s most celebrated artists and also cement Imam’s status in the modern art world.

The University Art Collection holds one painting by Imam, entitled ‘Tiger and Bull’.