Husain should have been in India: Mumbai artists


Mumbai : Mourning the death of celebrated painter M.F. Husain, artists in Mumbai said the world had lost a rare genius and it was unfortunate that he could not breath his last in India.

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Kekoo Gandhy, the founder of Chemould Art Gallery that hosted Husain’s works, said he was a remarkable artist.

“It is a great loss for the art fraternity. He was a genius and a wonderful person to talk to,” Gandhy said.

“Being only five years younger to him, but belonging to the same era, I could relate with him and his love for art. I still remember him coming to my bungalow and painting a portrait of our family,” Gandhy reminisced.

Advertising guru Alyque Padamsee termed Husain a “renaissance man”.

“He was a genius and such people are not found in 1,000 years. He was God’s gift to the painters’ fraternity. It is a great loss for India and the world of art. It was a great experience to have a conversation with him. I pray that his soul rest in peace,” he said.

Bollywood actor Amrita Rao, the only other actress after Taboo and Madhuri Dixit who Husain wanted to make a film with, said she regretted not being able to work with him.

“I regret that the film did not take off and he had to leave India,” she said.

Professor Murlidhar Nangare, Pune-based artist and vice president of the Bombay Art Society that runs Mumbai’s famous Jehangir Art Gallery, said: “It is tragic that the biggest artist of our time had to leave India not to ever return.”

“He painted till his last breath. He was painting even at 95. I was lucky enough have interacted with him several times and had also visited his studio a few times when he was here,” Nangare added.

Sarayu Doshi, Mumbai-based art curator who was closely associated with Husain, said it was unfortunate that despite yearning to come to India to spend his last days, he could not.

Doshi, who is also fondly known as the high priestess of art, said the world had lost one of the best painters.

Husain, who left the country in 2006 after death threats from Hindu radicals over his nude paintings of Indian deities, died Thursday morning in a London hospital. He was 95.