49
49

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, BALTIMORE

Maqbool Fida Husain
UNTITLED (TWO WOMEN)
Estimation
50 00070 000
Lot. Vendu 100,000 USD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT
49

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, BALTIMORE

Maqbool Fida Husain
UNTITLED (TWO WOMEN)
Estimation
50 00070 000
Lot. Vendu 100,000 USD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art

|
New York

Maqbool Fida Husain
1913 - 2011
UNTITLED (TWO WOMEN)
Signed in Devanagari lower right and further signed, dated and inscribed 'M.F. Husain / 1959 / 25-D. Badar Bag, / Balaram St. / Bombay . 7' on reverse 
Oil on canvas
28⅛ x 19¼ in. (71.4 x 48.9 cm.)
Painted in 1959 
Lire le rapport d'état Lire le rapport d'état

Provenance

Acquired by Thomas Gardner Allen from Kumar Gallery, New Delhi in the 1960s
Thence by descent 
"Tom Allen" dedicated 12 years of his professional life serving as Cultural Attaché for the U.S. State Department. He loved the culture and diversity of India, and through his association with Kumar Gallery, he acquired works of art, from various Indian artists, most notably Maqbool Fida Husain, Gulam Rasool Santosh and B. Prabha. Mr. Allen and his family lived in New Delhi (1953-58, 1962-65, 1970-71), Trivandrum (1969-70) and Calcutta (1971-73).

Description

Painted during one of the artist's most important periods and executed in muted tones of grey, black, white, and blue, this painting is a iconic example of Maqbool Fida Husain’s work in the late 50s and early 60s, in which the hybrid influences of Post-Impressionism, Cubism and his Indian heritage are noticeable. 

Husain's earlier work often placed his subjects in a local context: characters are seen inhabiting rural villages or urban landscapes. In this painting, two women are transformed into archetypal figures in their own private world. The background of the picture is notably free from figuration. The artist uses color to divide the picture plane into areas of light and dark, less for the sake of achieving a chiaroscuro effect than to powerfully draw attention to the two women. Through the careful use of pigments, Husain leaves the protagonists expressionless, casting them as ciphers for human emotion rather than connecting them to any event or subject. 'His figures suddenly became anonymous. They existed on the picture plane without any specific locale or identity. They possessed a static poise, a slow languorous deliberateness.' (G. Kapur, Husain, Vakil & Sons Private Ltd., Bombay, p. 4)

The featureless quality of these works and his tendency to focus on women perhaps refers to the artist's early loss of his mother, and his subsequent inability to recall her face. Husain’s treatment of the female form reveals a mixture of tenderness, nostalgia, and to an extent reverence. In a single frame the artist succeeds in capturing the qualities of resilience, vulnerability, strength and compassion.

Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art

|
New York