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Husain unlimited

It is a virtual spectrum of graphics at Cinema Ghar

The masterpieces on display at Cinema Ghar — Photo: K. Gajendran

M.F. Husain is the flavour of the week. His latest deal with Swarup Industries has fetched him a whopping Rs. 100 crore. His artistic vision of the 20th Century (as he lived almost through it) is being encapsulated in the series Our Planet called Earth. The czar's oeuvre covers just about everything under the art spectrum. And his inexhaustible energy pushes him beyond the highs he has already reached. Husain may be away in Dubai capturing the century on canvas, but Hyderabadis have a chance to catch a glimpse of his earliest graphics at Cinema Ghar. Serigraphs, pictographs, lithographs, Chine Colle, Digitograph (he's even worked on computers)... some rare ones too... it's all a treat for people. Plus the various books on display give a peep into the artist and his works.

"Somehow print-making as a creative never attracted me... Over the years however I became conscious that collectors of my painting were getting severely limited whereas I wanted to reach out to as many people as possible... " said Husain way back in 1985. Despite this Husain comes out with a collection of graphics, which proves he is at ease with modern technology as well. He has the best of both worlds - one which he has inherited and one which he lives in. While the graphics deal with subjects that may be traditional, they are contemporary in form and treatment.

Diverse themes

The richness of colour and the strong line mark the works. This exhibition ought to be seen for some rare works. Husain's oldest graphic done in 1955 in Zurich (edition of 100) occupies pride of place. So also does the first ever litho by Artists Group (Husain, Tyeb Mehta, Gaitonde and Ram Kumar). Chine Colle is something not seen often. It is a method the artist worked on at the Bob Blackburn Studio, New York. Photographs of his stint give one an idea of the way it was done. Some books out of print also figure.

Numerous themes ranging from his favourite horses, men and women, Mother Teresa, Madhuri Dikshit to Theorama (10 religions including Humanism), Mahabharata, works inspired by Ghashiram Kotwal (Vijay Tendulkar's play), Hanuman, Varanasi series come alive in different depictions. Through the Theorama series the artist not just highlights the significant points of each religion (Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Taoism, Judaism and Humanism) but subtly puts across the essence of all religions - the oneness aspect and peace. The play of colour and line with the thoughtful delineation impart a certain profundity into each. At the same time the simplicity in depiction (through certain important elements, motifs, allegory) facilitates easy understanding as well.

The vibrant spectrum spread over practically the whole of Cinema Ghar warrants many hours of time. Explanatory notes to almost every work comes in handy to comprehend. In addition certain books like M.F. Husain in Parliament Reflections in drawing enthuse a visitor for certain anecdotes as well.

As one opens it Husain writes: "Imagine me sitting in Rajya Sabha for six years without uttering a word. I was watching the entire sequences as if Fedrico Fellini is conducting a great opera without sound... "

Husain has a way of arresting attention - fluid lines, riot of images and colours, nature of depiction, beckon one. Monotony does not set in. The books prove an able complement to the graphics mounted.

Just take hours off, spend time leisurely to know more about the man and his art. It's worth the while. Remember there is more to art than painting.

The exhibition is on till September 30 (open on Friday, Saturday, Sunday between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.)


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