Arts

Celebrating M. F. Husain

MASTER’S WORK: An M. F. Husain work from his Horses series that features in the exhibition.  

As a tribute to the internationally-renowned Indian artist M. F. Husain who passed away recently, Arushi Arts is hosting a five-day exhibition of contemporary art at Stainless Gallery here beginning August 8.

This year's ‘Harvest-2011', an annual project Arushi Arts has organised for over a decade, has been conceptualised in fond remembrance as the artist, who passed away on June 9 this year in London, had actively collaborated with the gallery in celebrating art.

“For us Husain Sahib was a special artist; our association goes back 20 years. He was a great friend and guide. We have worked with him on two or three projects for our gallery. The entire exhibition has been dedicated to the legendary artist whose popularity cuts across religion, sex and profession,” says Arushi Arts director Payal Kapoor.

“Husain Sahib always used to say that if Indian art is to reach centre stage then it was important that both young and old must move together. He wanted Indian art to go truly global, retain its Indian identity and be recognised as a strong force. This is precisely the reason why we have displayed the works of 74 other artists alongside the paintings by the celebrated artist,” says Payal.

Seasoned art critic Suneet Chopra, who has meticulously selected all the paintings, says at least one of Husain's extraordinary works figured in each of Arushi Arts' previous exhibitions. “He in turn made a special work for us. This year, we have the late artist's work from his famous Horses series and a woman and bull.

‘Four Seasons' is a concretisation of not only his exquisite brush work, powerful lines and profound sense of colour, but also of his facility with the narrative, his portrayal of the inspiration he drew from the animal form which he later became famous for,” he says.

Although Husain was born into a Muslim family, he lived in the ancient town of Pandharpur, known for its Vishnu temple, where his grandfather made metal lamps. “Husain's upbringing in a craftsman's family gave him a deep understanding of Hinduism as a lived religion with its easy-going familiarity with the gods as distinct from the rule-book religiosity of some. The playfulness, familiarity and deeply personal relation with the divine heroes and heroines of epic-based religions permeated his very being, giving his artistic expression the ecstasy of the bhakta or the Sufi,” says Mr. Chopra.

Other artists whose works are featured in the exhibition include F. N. Souza, S. H. Raza, Akbar Padamsee, Krishen Khanna, Jehangir Sabavala, Jogen Choudhary, Anjolie Ela Menon, Arpana Caur and Paresh Maity.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 6:29:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/arts/celebrating-m-f-husain/article2324456.ece

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