The name, Maqbool Fida Husain (1915-2011), is synonymous with India’s modern art movement.
Born in 1915 in Pandharpur, Maharashtra, Husain’s career as a painter started in Bombay in 1937 as a banner artist, painting large film hoardings for the popular Bombay cinema. This experience along with his early discipline of copying the Koran by hand in fluid calligraphy was to have a major influence on him as a painter. As a founding member of the avant-garde Progressive Artist Group in Bombay in 1947, Husain like many of that euphoric period of India’s independence, was anxious to forge a new vocabulary in Indian art. Husain was in fact one of the first modernist painters who made use of Indian motifs from Indian sources such as temple sculpture and the Indian miniatures and created a style in painting which was a synthesis of tradition and modernity.
A multi-faceted artist, Husain is recognised not only as a great painter but as an artist who was constantly innovating and experimenting with new ideas and mediums, the last of which being cinema using Bollywood superstar Madhuri Dixit and Pop star Madonna as his source of inspiration to create yet another vocabulary in the world of art.