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Fida over Husain

Forty-four Pune-based artists have come together to offer a tribute to Maqbool Fida Husain on his 88th birthday

Work of Raju Sutar

"IN A brief session of 10 minutes, Husain Saab unravelled to me the mystery of the world of modern art," writes Sanjeev Singhal. "This year marks 88th year of Husain's birth ... Unfortunately for health reasons, he had to spend his birthday in hospital. This moved me. I somehow wanted to show my gratitude to him for enlightening me about art."

As a tribute to M.F. Husain, Singhal collected 88 works of art from 44 Pune-based artists for an exhibition titled Jiyo Hazaron Saal.

The exhibition, which opened in Pune in March this year, has now reached Bangalore, from where it will travel to Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi.

Work of Balasaheb Abhang

Obviously, what unifies all the featured artists is their unflinching admiration of the creative mettle and spirit of Husain.

In fact, many of them have presented Husain himself in their works. If Ajay Deshpande renders a straightforward Portrait of Husain, in regal attire, Sanjay Bhalerao presents a sketch in charcoal titled The King, where the artist is riding a horse.

Other artists who have portrayed or included Husain's profile in their works include Shrikant Kadam (My Guru), Vijay Dupatre (As I See Him), Vijay Shinde (Satyamev Jayate), Vikram Kulkarni (Energy 88), Satish Kale (Husain On My Sketchbook), Panduranga Tathe (Avichar), and Dharmadhikari.

Some artists have been inspired by Husain's pet themes and characters, and have incorporated them in their works. Arpita Kolhatkar's two acrylic paintings are motivated by Husain's favorite muse, Gajagamini, while his love for horses literally drives artists like Balasaheb Abhang (My Painting & Husain) and, Maruti Patil (Horse 1

& 2).

In some works, Husain's trademark strokes, colours and moods find expression as in Shrikant Kadam's Dialogue, Mukund Kelkar's Shwetambari and Vijay Dupatre's His Umbrella.

There are others, though, who have chartered their own course. Anu Kulkarni has two Hands With Passion which attract attention, thanks to the striking use of colours and vacant space. Ajay Deshpande in his square canvas Ghashiram Kotwal imprints two typical Maharashtrian men in traditional attire.

Fatima Ahmed's Maharani is a softly portrayed woman in red, while Sachin Kolhatkar highlights his tall, vertical canvas (In The Shade Of A Legend) with an attractive tree.

Work of Arpita Kolhatkar, Balasaheb Abhang, and Raju Sutar

Milind Phadke depicts the elephant god rather decoratively, and Mussarat Masters weaves a couple of some intriguing Kaleidoscopic Portraits. Sanjay Yamgar's paintings manage to stimulate through an assemblage of tables, chairs and other oddments inside a room that is highlighted by filtering light.

Sujata Dharap's Inspired Strokes see some swift pats and lashes of colour on her canvases and Umakant Kanade using ink on canvas produces a couple of inspired compositions.

(The exhibition concludes on June 29 at Gallery G.)


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