Maqbool Fida Husain

M.F. Husain was born in Pandharpur, Maharashtra, India (1915-2011). He lived and worked in Mumbai, London and Dubai. A self taught artist, Husain began his career as a cinema billboard painter and a designer of furniture and toys. In 1947 he joined the Progressive Artists’ Group. He eventually went on to become the highest paid artist in India and has been called the “Picasso of India”. The Government of India awarded him with the Padma Shri in 1955, the Padma Bhushan in 1973, and the Padma Vibhushan in 1991, three of the four highest civilian honours. In the 1990’s some of Husain’s works became controversial because of their portrayal of Hindu deities in the nude. The paintings in question were created in 1970, but did not become an issue until they were printed in a monthly magazine in 1996. In 1971 he was a special invitee along with Pablo Picasso at the São Paulo Biennale. Along with several solo exhibitions he has had major retrospectives in Mumbai in 1969, in Kolkata in 1973 and in Delhi in 1978 and 2011. At the age of 92, Husain received the prestigious Raja Ravi Varma award from the government of Kerala.