MAQBOOL FIDA HUSSAIN

We begin our blog by writing about famous Progressive artist MF Hussain.The artist became a legend in his own lifetime.Hussain started by painting billboards for hindi movies.That was what he had to do to earn his daily bread and butter but he continued with his creative work as well.The Progressive artists group started in 1947 along with artists like Hussain,Raza and FN Souza and a few other legends.

Hussain worked on many surfaces like paper,canvases,wood and even walls for museums,art galleries,institutions banks and private collectors.His work had bold strokes and movements.He liked to sketch people and places and at a young age started making sketches of monuments complete with traditional Indian sculptures which had a lasting impact,and the graceful deities and their postures like Tribhanga Mudra(the sensuous gestural quality of the hands and feet)acquired an emotive presence in the pictorial language of Hussain.

Hussain had painted a series based on the Ramayana and Mahabharata,taking significant scenes from these epics.He liked to do portraits and figures of popular personalities.His series of paintings on Mother Teresa, with a blue bordered white saree,and a graceful,gentle and compassionate face are a tribute to the selfless soul.His horses are famous all over the world.When we think of this great artist we think of his running horses sketches and paintings.

The themes and subjects which he used were powerful appeared to attract viewers instantly.He won many accolades and awards,including his first National award from the Lalit kala Akademi for the painting” Zameen”,in the 1950’s.Now this painting is with the National Gallery of Modern Art,that also houses some of his other works.

Hussain participated in major art events,nationally and internationally,including the Tokyo,Venice and San Paolo Biennale.He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1986 by the Government of India and was also bestowed with a Padma Vibhushan in 1989.

He dressed up in his own style with a kurta and pajama and a bag slung casually over his shoulders.He was known as the barefoot artist and with his beard and long manes looked like a quintessential artist.There are a millions stories and anecdotes about this wonderful artist.

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