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A Curious Spirit
by Indigo Blue Art
Location: Indigo Blue Art
Artist(s): M. F. HUSAIN
Date: 17 Sep - 24 Oct 2014

INDIGO BLUE ART is delighted to present M.F. Husain – A Curious Spirit, a solo exhibition of works by India’s most celebrated contemporary artist.

The self-taught artist displayed a fearless open-mindedness, absorbing and expressing diverse influences of style, presentation and subject yet, remaining playful with his lines, forms and colour. Drawing from his visit to China and meeting with the then President of the Central Academy of Fine Arts of China, Xu Beihong in the 1950s, Husain began to infuse the Chinese style of breaking the surface with strong lines that gave his treatment of the horse, the artist’s favourite animal figure, a feeling of vitality and vigour whilst displaying the artist’s deep understanding of the myths associated with the horse in the multi-faceted Indian artistic and cultural tradition and investing them with a new contemporary meaning.

The artist himself admits ”art for (him) is not a cerebral activity. It is purely a visual and sensory experience…” Portraits of Mother Teresa, Indira Gandhi and Mathuri Dixit displayed Husain’s own admiration for these public figures and he was equally adept at reimagining mythology and folklore of icons like Ganesh and Hanuman.

The exhibition follows and celebrates M.F. Husain’s unrelenting creative spirit in which the artist explored innumerable subjects throughout his lifetime. His large body of work up till his passing in 2011 owes greatly to the speed in which he executed his works, in order to capture the decisive moment, a term popularised by renowned street photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, whom Husain admired.


Born in 1915 in Maharashtra, Husain’s humble beginning as a painter of cinema hoardings, toymaker and furniture designer left him struggling to earn a living in Mumbai. However, his determination and love for painting gradually earned him recognition as an artist in the late 1940s. In 1947, Francis Newton Souza’s invitation to Husain to become a member of the Progressive Artists’ Group was a harbinger of his phenomenal success as a painter. Internationally venerated as the ‘Picasso of India’, M.F. Husain has since stood at the forefront of modern Indian art.

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