The Art of talking about Art – 3: M for MF Husain

It’s MF Husain’s 100th birth anniversary. Some of you may have noticed. Google India certainly took the trouble to remind us. Now if you wish to pick up a bit of the fine art of taking art, it helps to know a few things about a big big name like MF Husain. And hence this M for MF edition.

M is for MF Husain

It’s MF Husain’s 100th birth anniversary. Some of you may have noticed. Google India certainly took the trouble to remind us. Now if you wish to pick up a bit of the fine art of taking art, it helps to know a few things about a big big name like MF Husain. And hence this M for MF edition.

Let’s begin with some memories of MF you might want to make a note of.

First things first

Maqbool Fida Husain was commonly known as MF Husain. He was a Modern Indian painter of international acclaim, and a founding member of The Progressive Artists Group of Bombay (PAG). He also directed a few movies.

Did you know?

It took MF Husain just two months to paint the 29 canvases that make up his famous Mahabharata series.

MF, the filmmaker

M.F. Husain made his first film, Through the Eyes of a Painter, in 1967. The film was shown at the Berlin Film Festival and won a Golden Bear. In 2004, he directed Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities, which was screened in the Marché du Film section of the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.

From rags…

Husain had come to Mumbai in 1937. In the initial days of his struggle he earned 36 paisa or 6 annas a day by painting hoardings.

To records…

In early 2008, Husain’s Battle of Ganga and Jamuna: Mahabharata 12, a large diptych, from the Hindu epic, fetched $1.6 million, setting a world record at Christie’s South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art sale.

The final word

“I wanted to use her [Dixit] as a vehicle to take art to the maximum number of people. And the best way to reach people was to paint a superstar.” – Maqbool Fida Husain

Previous Editions:

Update: We have compiled the entire series of blog posts on The Art of Talking About Art in one place. To read other editions of the series, click here.

Avinash Subramaniam

Avinash has been an advertising writer, fiction writer, poetry writer, freelance writer and serial wronger. Other roles he has been in include those of an editor, brand builder, and teacher. His interests include advertising, scrabble, body building, chess, cinema, making money, reading, internet culture, cricket, photography. To hear him air his thoughts, follow him on Twitter @armchairexpert.

1 Comment

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    siva kun May 04, 2018

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    Contemporary Indian Artist

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