India Art Fair Ends With Screening of Film By M.F. Husain

New Delhi
India Art Fair Ends With Screening of Film By M.F. Husain
Screening of a film made by legendary painter M F Husain, whose works were showcased by various galleries at the India Art Fair here, today marked the end of the art extravaganza here.

The 18-minute film, Through the eyes of a painter, was made by Husain in 1967 and produced by the Films Division of India.

M F Husain died in June last year in London and the display of his works at the fair had triggered controversies in the past.

"I am happy that we could screen Husain, a painter whose works could not be shown in the past years at the art fair and faced a lot of problems. This incidentally is M F Husain's first film, he went on to make other films later," said Ashok Vajpeyi, eminent poet and former chairman of Lalit Kala Akademi who introduced the film that was screened as the curtains downed on the five-day event that began on January 25 at the NSIC grounds in Okhla with 91 exhibitors from 20 countries.

Vajpeyi referred to Husain as a artist with an epic imagination and a good chronicler of his times. "He is perhaps the only artist who has painted from the two epics of Ramayana and the Mahabharata, nobody else did."

In 2011, M F Husain's works were initially withdrawn by the Delhi Art Gallery for a short while before being hung back on the Art Summit's walls at the Pragati Maidan venue with special police protection. In the year 2009 the artist's works were not included at the Art Summit after he faced threats from right wing Hindu outfits over his paintings.

This year, however, at least six galleries showcased the artist's work including four Indian galleries.

"I guess there is more controversy when the artist is alive. Now that he is no longer alive it is no longer an issue," said a gallerist.

The print of the film by Husain "Through the eyes of painter" screened at Art Fair had been sourced from the Lalit Kala Akademi.

The film written directed and filmed by Husain documents the artist's journey through Rajashtan had won the the Golden Bear in 1967 at the Berlin Film Festival and several other awards.

The film has no dialogues and shows various objects like a goat roaming in front of a tiger model, school children dispersing with cries after listening to the school-bell, women bathing at the river bank, lines in the desert, a lantern, an umbrella, a sandal etc.

    "The camera moves with a certain innocence in the film. It is almost as Husain did the film with a twinkle in his eye," said Vajpayi.
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