M.F. Husain: Art and the Nation

20 March–4 August 2019

Exhibition Overview

mf husain.jpg

M.F. Husain, Lightning, 1975. Oil on canvas. Twelve panels, overall: H.10 x W. 60 ft. (3 x 18 m). Marguerite and Kent Charugundla Collection. Image courtesy of the lenders.

One of the founding members of the Bombay Progressive Artists' Group, M.F. Husain, created the mural-sized painting Lightning for then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s Congress Party public rally in 1975 in Bombay (Mumbai), the same year that a state of emergency was imposed across India. The twelve massive panels of Lightning are littered with visual references to India and the 1970s, and though absent visually, to Indira Gandhi. Ironically, by the 1970s, Husain’s alignments with the political leader resulted in the loss of support of some members of the intelligentsia and artistic community. In the following decades, the rise of the Hindu right closed off the artistic strategies that made Lightningpossible for Husain, ultimately leading to his exile from India.

Read More

We use our own and third party cookies to enable you to navigate around our Site, use its features and engage on social media, and to allow us to perform analytics, remember your preferences, provide services that you have requested and produce content and advertisements tailored to your interests, both on our Site as well as others. For more information, or to learn how to change your cookie or marketing preferences, please see our updated Privacy Policy & Cookie Policy.

Close