Monday, July 4, 2011

The world media paid rich homage to '‘Picasso of India’

William Grimes in The New York Times

“MF Husain’s modernist reinterpretations of both mythic and religious subjects made him India’s most famous painter. Enormously prolific, he once claimed to have painted almost 60,000 works. The maverick artist developed his bright palette and sweeping brushstrokes whilst painting Hindi movie billboards. He skillfully applied the formal lessons of renowned European modernists like Matisse and Cézanne to scenes from the Mahabharata and to the vast Hindu pantheon. Madhuri Dixit and Mother Teresa were, in very different ways, his painterly muses.”

“A dashing, highly eccentric figure in impeccably tailored suits, the barefoot artist brandished a slim cane that turned out to be actually an extra-long paintbrush, on closer inspection. He never maintained a formal studio instead, spreading his canvases out on the floor of whatever room he stayed in, splashing paint with gay abandon, paying for any damage caused when he checked out.”

The Khaleej Times

Applauding the most recognized and representative contemporary Indian artist’s achievements, his creative genius and boundless energy belying his age, an obituary in pointed out that his creative life spanned well over seven decades and thousands of paintings. “Despite the controversies, which dogged him, he was a torchbearer of creative freedom. Husain was working till his death, dividing his time between Qatar, London and Dubai where he had his home, a studio and a museum.”

The BBC News

It termed him ‘India's most prized artist’, whose work fetched millions of dollars. Often known as the ‘Picasso of India’, he influenced a whole generation of Indian artists. Anjolie Ela Menon quipped that his ‘enormous body of work was matched by that of artist Pablo Picasso. MF Husain remained young at heart. He retained his verve, sense of humor, passion for life and also his amazing capacity to paint. He was a nomad, a gypsy!

Amy Kazmin in The UK Financial Times

The FT writer Amy Kazmin moaned that beacon of India’s modern art scene was no more, and added: “Husain’s distinctive works were often characterized by a rather unusual juxtaposition of colors and their bold forms. Famously prolific, he had a reputation for his ability to complete a painting just in the time it took for playing a record album. Mr Husain, with his peculiar white hair & beard, paintbrushes tucked into his pockets, was renowned for his qualities of exuberance and joie de vivre. Always walking barefoot, he sometimes though conceded to the vagaries of weather by wearing socks.”

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