M.F. Husain – Death of an IconBy Lavina Melwani • Jun 16th, 2011 • Category: Art
M.F. Husain – Goodbye to an Icon.
(September 17, 1915 – June 9, 2011)
The great artist died of a heart-attack in London, far from his homeland of India. He was a giant of the contemporary Indian art world and there are as many colorful stories about him, about the controversies swirling about him, as there are unmatchable pieces of art which encapsulate the complexities of India. New York gallerist and collector Kent Charugundla, who knew M. F. Husain well, shares some untold stories about the flamboyant artist.
“The passing of MF Husain is a great loss to the world of contemporary and modern art,” said Charugundla, who was headed out for London for the funeral. “It is also a great loss to me personally, my wife Marguerite and our children. As I heard the news I was having flashbacks, and one of the events that I vividly remembered was the day I purchased the monumental Lightning – the largest painting by M F Husain – 60 feet x 10 feet. It was the day that capitalized my art buying experience to a thunder of a lightning.
“After that I traveled to India at least 10 times every year. Every time I traveled with him either to Kolkatta or to Mumbai, the stories he shared with me were memorable. One of the evenings that I spent with the legendary artist was a warm evening in 2003, when he took me to a location to show me a painting he had done some time ago, on the wall of the Cricket Club of India in Mumbai.
We sat down for tea and snacks in the club and he shared a story with me in his humble way about a day in 1945, before independence. At that time he wasn’t allowed to enter the grounds because he was Indian and the grounds were only for the British. So he watched the game from a hole in a side gate. He told me that it was at that moment he realized that this was his land and his country; who were these invaders to tell him that he could not get in?
This immensely affected his life and it pushed him to aggressively paint and express his anger and dissatisfaction. No matter when or where I traveled with him, he had a story to tell. I miss the days that I traveled and walked with him in our motherland India. ”
A chat with M.F. Husain
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