M.F. Husain

Maqbool Fida Husain (1915 – 2011) has been widely regarded as the "Picasso of India" who has influenced a whole generation of artists in India. Husain was mainly a self-taught artist who started by painting cinema hoardings in Mumbai. Husain first became well known as an artist in the late 1940s. In 1947, he joined the Progressive Artists' Group, founded by Francis Paulo Souza a group of young artists who wished to break with the  conservative nationalist traditions established by the Bengal school of art and to encourage a more modern, western influence to create a avant-garde Indian Art, engaged at an international level.

In 1955, he was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri award by the Government of India, the Padma Bhushan in 1973 and  the Padma Vibhushan in 1991. He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1986. At the age of 92 Husain was to be awarded the prestigious Raja Ravi Varma award by the government of Kerala.

In 1952, his first solo exhibition was held at Zurich and over the next few years, his work was widely seen in Europe and the US. His first U.S.A. exhibit was at India House in New York in 1964. M. F. Husain was a special invitee along with Pablo Picasso at the Sao Paulo Biennial in 1971.

He claimed to have produced some 60,000 paintings. His narrative paintings, executed in a modified Cubist style, usually treated in series, include topics as diverse as Mohandas K. Gandhi, Mother Teresa, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the British Raj and motifs of Indian urban and rural life. One of the most celebrated and internationally recognized Indian artists of the 20th century, is also recognized as a printmaker, photographer, and filmmaker.

For more on him here.