Abirpothi

India’s only daily art newspaper

Who isn’t \’Fida\’ about this Indian art legend?

September 17, On This Day

Path-breaking, exiled

\"\"It was 106 years ago today that Maqbool Fida Husain was born, on September 17, 1915, although he left this world a decade ago, depriving it of his monumental talent.

Known as one of the most globally recognized and celebrated Indian artists of his time and beyond, MF Husain’s bold and vibrant paintings, analysed to be in a ‘modified Cubist style’, left an indelible mark on the art of this century. Husain was a special invitee along with Pablo Picasso at the São Paulo Biennial, Brazil in 1971. He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1986. Husain had a vast amount of work that spanned over 10 decades producing roughly 40,000 paintings by the end of his lifetime.

His journey began humbly in Maharashtra’s Pandharpur, and he is known to have sketched cinema posters in his youth to earn a little extra — who knew that some day, he would go on to produce and direct movies of his own, including Gaja Gamini (with his muse Madhuri Dixit) and Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities (with Tabu) around the turn of the century.

Associated with Indian modernism, Husain was a founding member of the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group. His themes, sometimes treated in series, include topics as diverse as Gandhi, Mother Teresa, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the British Raj, and motifs of Indian urban and rural life.

Husain’s career was also peppered with plenty of controversy. He drew the ire of Hindu and nationalist groups for nudes of gods and goddesses and Bharat Mata; he also provoked Islamic religious leaders over the lyrics of a song in one of his movies being taken from the Quran.

After multiple attacks, Husain exiled himself to Doha and London in combination. He expressed a strong desire to return to India fears of being prosecuted, but eventually breathed his last on foreign shores.

Some of this artworks:

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