Husain paintings on display in London

Works of India’s ‘Barefoot Picasso’ will be displayed at Grosvenor Vadehra in London


Grosvenor Vadehra in London to showcase M. F. Husain, Paintings and Drawings: Works from a Private Collection. The exhibition opens with a private reception on Friday May 22ndand runs until Tuesday June 9th. There is also another late night event at the Gallery on Friday 5th June.

Maqbool Fida Husain (1915-2011) is rightly considered one of the most important South Asian artists of the 20th century. As a member of the Bombay Progressive Artist’s Group, he was part of a small number of artists who introduced modernist painting to post-Independence India, and set the scene for the artistic development of the country from the 1950s onwards.

Often referred to as ‘India’s Picasso’, the artist was known for courting controversy, and for the last five years of his life lived in exile in London and Doha. One notable incident occurred during a major retrospective at London’s Asia House, where paintings were defaced by protestors, angry at the artist’s depiction of a Hindu goddess in a state of undress. This led one politician to offer a 500,000 rupee reward to anyone who cut off one of the artist’s arms.

Unperturbed by criticism, Husain was considered a superstar in his native India, and was a household name for much of his life. As well as an artist Husain was also a poet and a film-maker, whose 1967 film Through the Eyes of a Painter won 1st prize at The Golden Bear film awards in Berlin.

Works exhibited date from the 1960s up until his death in 2011, and come from the private collection of an individual who was close to the artist for a great many years. Characteristic subject matters such as Horses, Tigers and native Indian women make up the majority of the show, which features drawings, watercolours and oils.

The exhibition continues at Grosvenor Vadehra, London, until 9th June.

Friday May 22nd 6 – 8pm.

MF. Husain, Paintings and Drawings: Works from a Private Collection, opening and reception, coinciding with St James’s late night opening, GrosvenorGallery, 21 Ryder Street, SW1Y