Maqbool Fida Husain

No Image Available

Maqbool Fida Husain

1915 - 2011

One of the most universally acclaimed Indian artists of the twentieth century, Maqbool Fida Husain was both celebrated and controversial for his narrative paintings that portrayed distinctly Indian themes with a modern flare. Husain was born in 1915 in the central Indian state of Maharashtra, and although he spent a brief period at Indore Art College, he was predominantly a self-taught artist and film-maker. He began his career by painting Bollywood movie billboards in Mumbai.
His artistic career truly started after winning an award at the annual exhibition of the Bombay Art Society, which resulted in an invitation to become a member of the Progressive Artists Group (1947 Ė 1956). By 1955 he was already one of Indiaís leading artists; in 1968 he won a Golden Bear at the Berlin international film festival for his film Through the Eyes of a Painter; and in 1971 his work showed alongside Pablo Picassoís at the Bienal de S„o Paulo. Husainís references to Cubism in his oil paintings led to him being known as the Picasso of India.
For most of Husainís life, his vibrant paintings depicting Indian subject matter - including religious and historic figures and events - were praised as being great works of art. He was frequently honoured in India, and received multiple doctorates and many government issued awards. In 1986 he became a member of Indian parliament. However, beginning in the 1990s, the Muslim artistís sexually suggestive portraits of Hindu gods and goddesses triggered a violent reaction towards him from Hindu nationalist groups, resulting in many lawsuits as well as tensions between Hindus and Muslims. This caused him to go into self-imposed exile from the country he knew and loved, and he spent his remaining years in Dubai and London.