Artist biography

J. Iqbal Geoffrey born 1939

Pakistani abstract painter, whose work is based on a fusion of ancient Eastern and modern Western traditions. Born in Chiniot, Pakistan (then India). Began drawing at an early age and in 1955 to paint in oils, already working in calligraphic tachiste abstract styles and often introducing Hindu symbolism. Founded and edited a journal The Pen Post 1955-9 and published a book of verse in Urdu 1957. Took a BA degree at Government College, Lahore, 1957 and a law degree at the University of the Punjab 1959; called to the Bar of Pakistan at the age of 20. Went to London in 1960 and decided to become a professional painter; first retrospective exhibition at the Alfred Brod Galleries, London, 1962. Awarded a Huntington Hartford Foundation fellowship 1962 and moved to New York. More or less stopped painting in 1965 as a gesture of protest against the contemporary art world, but continued to devise a series of iconoclastic conceptual projects. Visiting professor at St Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1967-8. Now divides his time mainly between the USA and Lahore.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.272