Ismail Gulgee was a contemporary Pakistani painter and sculptor known for both his representational portraits and calligraphic abstractions. The artist’s portraits of horses and people have a photographic quality, often relying on tone and repetitive brushstrokes, while his abstract works are colorful improvisations based in Abstract Expressionism and Islamic calligraphy. Born on October 25, 1926 in Karimpura, Pakistan, Gulgee studied civil engineering at Aligarh University in India before continuing his engineering studies at Columbia University and Harvard University. While in the United States, he began painting and developed his hybridized style. Today, Gulgee’s work is in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York as well as the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad. Sadly, he and his wife were murdered on December 16, 2007 in Karachi, Pakistan.
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