Anonymous wrote on Jun 9 2011 5:11PM
Maqbool Fida Husain, (born September 17, 1915, Pandharpur, India) popularly known as MF, is an artist of Indian origin.
According to Forbes magazine, he has been called the "Picasso of India". In 1996 controversy arose over paintings originally painted in the 1970s which were interpreted as anti-Hindu. After legal cases and death threats in his home country, he was on a self imposed exile from 2006. In January, 2010, he was offered the citizenship of Qatar, which he accepted.
As of now, he has not responded to summons from an Indian district court in Haridwar, his properties in India are therefore attached as per court orders and a bailable warrant is issued against him in the said court.
Husain first became well-known as an artist in the late 1940s. In 1947, he joined the Progressive Artists' Group, founded by Francis Newton Souza. This was a clique of young artists who wished to break with the nationalist traditions established by the Bengal school of art and to encourage an Indian avant-garde, engaged at an international level. In 1952, his first solo exhibition was held atZürich and over the next few years, his work was widely seen in Europe and the U.S. In 1955, he was awarded the prestigious Padma Shree prize by the Government of India.
In 1967, he made his first film, Through the Eyes of a Painter. It was shown at the Berlin Film Festivaland won a Golden Bear.
M. F. Husain was a special invitee along with Pablo Picasso at the Sao Paulo Biennial in 1971. He has been awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1973 and was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1986. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1991.
Husain went on to become the highest paid painter in India. His single canvases have fetched up to $2 million at a recent Christie's auction.
He has also worked (produced & directed) on few movies, including Gaja Gamini (with his muse Madhuri Dixit who was the subject of a series of his paintings which he signed Fida). The film was intended as a tribute to Ms. Dixit herself. In this film she can be seen portraying various forms and manifestations of womanhood including the muse of Kalidasa, the Mona Lisa, a rebel, and musical euphoria. He went on to make Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities (with Tabu). His autobiography is being made into a movie tentatively titled The Making of the Painter, starring Shreyas Talpade as the young Husain.
The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) (USA, Massachusetts) showed a solo exhibition from 4 November 2006 to 3 June 2007. It exhibited Husain’s paintings inspired by the Hindu epic, Mahabharata.
At the age of 92 Husain was to be given the prestigious Raja Ravi Varma award by the government ofKerala. The announcement led to controversy in Kerala and some cultural organisations campaigned against the granting of the award and petitioned the Kerala courts. Sabarimala spokesperson, Rahul Easwar, went to Kerala High Court and it granted an interim order to stay the granting of the award until the petition had been disposed of.
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.
His name has also been included in the list of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World, issued by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in Amman, Jordan.
Of late sale is showing a decline. In may artists MF Husain went unsold at the Sotheby’s auction, many feel that they may have run their course. Artist Pranava Prakash said, “Artists such as Husain and Raza sell because of their PR machinery, not because of their artistic merit."