Maqbool Fida Husain (Indian, 2011)

Maqbool Fida Husain (Indian, 1915–2011) was one of India’s most prominent Modern artists, and one of the first Indian painters to gain recognition at auction through his record-breaking prices. Born in Pandharpur, Husain was largely self-taught, earning money in his youth by painting movie billboards in Mumbai. He began his career as a Fine Artist in the 1940s, and was invited to join the Progressive Artist’s Group because of his interest in re-inventing conventional academic techniques. Through his association with this group, he was influenced by German Expressionist Emil Nolde (German, 1867-1956) and Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka (Austrian, 1886-1980).

Although Husain considered himself a “folk artist” he is often referred to as the “Picasso of India.” Inspired by both Amrita Sher-Gil (Indian, 1913-1941) and George Keyt (Sri Lankan, 1901-1993), he combined Western Modernism and Cubism with traditional Indian secular and religious subjects and motifs. Among his more traditional Indian subjects, his depictions of the Mahabharata and other Indian deities are well known. A director as well as a painter, in 1967 Husain was awarded the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for his film Through the Eyes of a Painter. His work was often controversial among Indian nationals, and his paintings of Hindu deities were ill-received because of their depictions of religious subjects in scenes that combined humor, nudity, and crude sexuality. In the last few years of his life he moved to Qatar and received Qatari citizenship to avoid threats he had received in India for his contentious subject matter.


Born: Pandharpur, Maharashtra
Golden Bear at the International Film Festival at Berlin, Germany
Award: Padma Bhushan
Award: Padma Vibhushan
Died June 9th, 2011 London, UK
Self- Educated


'Figure/Landscape: Part Two', Aicon Gallery, London
M F Husain 2010 – The World is my Canvas, organised by Museum of Islamic Art (MIA), Qatar Foundation and as part of 2010 Arab Capital of Culture (solo)
M.F. Husain: Early Masterpieces 1950s–70s, sponsored by the Year of India, the Cogut Center for the Humanities, and the David Winton Bell Gallery at David Winton Bell Gallery, Providence (solo)
'Figure/Landscape: Part One', Aicon Gallery, New York
'Who Has Seen Gandhi?', presented by Tangerine Art Space at Raj Bhavan; KynKyny Art Gallery and Tangerine Art Space, Bangalore
'The Modernists', RL Fine Arts, New York, NY
'The Progressives & Associates', Grosvenor Gallery, London, UK
'From Miniature to Modern: Traditions in Transition', Rob Dean Art, London in association with Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai
'Symbols and Metaphors', Centre of International Modern Art (CIMA), Kolkata
'Masters of Maharashtra', collection from Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi at Piramal Gallery, National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai
'Master Class', The Arts Trust, Mumbai
'Bharat Ratna! Jewels of Modern Indian Art', Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
'In Search of the Vernacular', Aicon Gallery, New York , NY
'Indian Harvest', presented by Crimson- The Art Resouce, Bangalore at SG Private Banking, Singapore
'Long Gone & Living Now', Gallerie Mirchandani + Steinreucke, Mumbai
'Kalpana: Figurative Art in India', presented by The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) at Aicon Gallery, London; The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR)
'Progressive to Altermodern: 62 Years of Indian Modern Art', Grosvenor Gallery, London, UK
'Signs Taken for Wonders: Recent Art from India and Pakistan', Aicon Gallery, London, UK
'Frame Figure Field: 20th Century Modern and Contemporary Indian Art', Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi
'Modern and Contemporary Indian Art', Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi
'Multiple Modernities: India, 1905-2005', Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
‘Freedom 2008 – Sixty Years of Indian Independence’, Centre for International Modern Art (CIMA), Kolkata
'Tales, Reflection and Constructs', Galerie 88, Kolkata
‘Exhibition of Seri – Prints’, Studio Vasant, New Delhi
Epic India: Paintings by M. F. Husain, Herwitz Collection of Contemporary Indian Art, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA (solo)
‘Gateway Bombay’, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA
‘From the Vault’, Aicon Gallery, London and New York
‘Epic India: Paintings by M F Husain’, Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts, USA
Early Masterpieces 1950-70’s, Asia House Gallery, London (solo)
‘Pictorial Glimpses’, National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai
‘Summer Show’, Centre for International Modern Art (CIMA), Kolkata
‘M F Husain: Early Masterpieces 1950s-70s’, Asia House, London
‘The Moderns Revisited’, Grosvenor Vadehra, London
‘Shadow Lines’, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi
‘Making of Divinity’, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai
Exhibition of Prints, Collector’s Paradise Gallery, Mumbai (solo)
‘Manifestations III’, organized by Delhi Art Gallery at Nehru Center, Mumbai and Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.
‘Drishti / Vision: Indian Contemporary Artists’, Valentine Willie Fine Art (VWFA), Kuala Lumpur
‘Evoking Rasa in Luminous Visions: Indian Art’, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA
‘Ashta Nayak: Eight Pioneers of Indian Art’, Gallery ArtsIndia, New York
'The Sacred Feminine’, Shridharani Gallery, New Delhi
‘Still Life: The Inscrutable Genre’, Art Motif, New Delhi
Husain (An Exhibition of Graphic Prints in Honor of M S Subbalakshmi), Lakshana Museum of Fine Arts, Chennai (solo)
National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai (solo)
Husain: Graphic 2004, Pictures and Frames, Mumbai (solo)
’20 / 20 – A Vision: Looking Back / Looking Forward’, Apparao Galleries, Chennai
‘Ruminations’, Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai; The Forum, New Delhi; Windsor Manor Hotel, Bangalore; Museum Gallery, Mumbai
‘Jiva / Life’, Bodhi Art, Singapore
‘Portrait of a Decade’, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai
‘Manifestations II’, organized by Delhi Art Gallery at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai and Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi.
‘Concept and Form’, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi
88 Husains in Oils 2003, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (solo)
Husain Hieroglyph, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai (solo)
M F Husain in Oils, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai (solo)
Thief of Baghdad, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai (solo)
Gallerie 88, Kolkata (solo)
‘Anniversary Master Strokes’, Art Musings, Mumbai
‘Manifestations I’, organized by Delhi Art Gallery at World Trade Center, Mumbai and Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi.
Paintings and Serigraphs by Husain, Sarjan Art Gallery, Baroda (solo)
M .F Husain, Limited Edition Graphics and Reproduction, Sakshi Gallery in association with Archer Art Gallery, Ahmedabad (solo)
Madhuri as Saratchandra’s Chandramukhi: The Eternal Enchantress of Devdas, Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai (solo)
‘Art Musings 2002’, Art Musings, Mumbai
‘Colors of India’, organized by Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Kolkata at Mumbai
‘Anniversary Return to Eden’, Art Musings, Mumbai
‘Modern Indian Art’, Metropolitan Pavilion, New York
Paintings, Murals and Drawings, Husain Ki Sarai Collection, New Delhi (solo)
‘Distillations’, Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Kolkata
‘Timeless Vision: Contemporary Art from the Herwitz Collection’, Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee, WI
New Works, The Fine Art Resource, Berlin
Maqbool Fida Husain: The Beacon of Energy, The Window, Mumbai (solo)
Husain Now, Centre for International Modern Art (CIMA), Kolkata (solo)
From Sinhasan to Peacock Throne to the Chair of the 21st Century: M. F Husain and Jehangir Nagree Exhibition of Furniture, organized by The Living Room at Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai (solo)
Exhibition of Water Colors and Object Based Works, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai (solo)
Maqbool Fida Husain, Art Today, New Delhi (solo)
14 Serigraphs on Madhuri Dixit, Surya Gallery, Hyderabad (solo)
A Visual Script of Untitled Film on Madhuri, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai (solo)
Tapestry Show, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (solo)
Oils on Canvas, 31st Anniversary Exhibition, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai (solo)
History Cut Across Me Without Me, organized by Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi at National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), New Delhi (solo)
Civilization, Violence and Pather Panchali, at National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), New Delhi (solo)
Six Days of Live Painting, Tata Centre, Kolkata (solo)
Knight Watch, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (solo)
Shwetambari, Installation at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai (solo)
Front Page, Centre for Contemporary art (CCA), New Delhi (solo)
Theatre of the Absurd, Installations, New Delhi (solo)
Calcutta 300, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (solo)
Husain, Hunter Museum of art, Tennessee, USA (solo)
Images of the Raj, Sista’s Art Gallery, Bangalore (solo)
Story of a Brush, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai (solo)
Culture of the Streets, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai (solo)
Culture of the Streets, Art Heritage, New Delhi (solo)
Les Otages – Mere Theresa, Galerie Jourdan, Montreal, Canada (solo)
Mother and Child: A Tribute to Mother Teres, Calcutta Art Gallery, Kolkata (solo)
Husain in Malaysia, The Hilton, Kuala Lumpur (solo)
Ragmala Paintings, Centaur Hotel, Mumbai (solo)
Sufi Paintings, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai (solo)
Portrait of an Umbrella, Art Heritage, New Delhi (solo)
Retrospective, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi (solo)
Maqbool Fida Husain, Sarla Art Centre, Chennai (solo)
Commonwealth Art Centre, London, UK (solo)
Moscow Museum of Oriental Art, Moscow (solo)
Paintings by Husain, Worcester Art Museum, USA (solo)
Retrospective, Birla Academy of art and Culture, Kolkata (solo)
Espace Cardin, Paris (solo)
Paintings 1971, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai (solo)
Ashoka Hotel, New Delhi (solo)
’21 Years of Painting, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai (solo)