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Husain’s and Raza’s unique styles converge at Akara Art Gallery

Explore the shared lineage and very different styles of two master artists, as part of a 10th anniversary celebration.

mumbai Updated: Jul 04, 2019 19:43 IST
Natasha Rego
Natasha Rego
Hindustan Times
MF Husain,SH Raza,confluence
SH Raza, Prem Bindu, acrylic on canvas, 1992.

Divergent Confluences – MF Husain and SH Raza
  • Where: Akara Art Gallery, Colaba
  • When: July 4 to 31 (Closed on Sundays and Mondays)
  • Entry is free

Works by two of India’s most recognisable contemporary artists come together in a show at the Akara Art Gallery, starting today. Titled Divergent Confluences, the exhibition represents the starkly different visual styles of MF Husain and SH Raza, held together by the commonality of their influences – Indian mythology, miniature paintings and other traditions of Indian art.

“Both Husain and Raza started their careers in 1948,” says Puneet Shah, director of Akara, which is celebrating turning 10 this year. “But they had divergent careers. Raza worked in Europe and made frequent visits to India, where he finally settled towards the end of his life. Husain lived in India and made frequent visits to the West and eventually had to move out of the country.”

The ‘confluence’, he says, comes from their shared ideology, which emerged with the formation of the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group. The group sought to break away from the traditional schools, and introduced a more contemporary style of Indian art.

MF Husain, Untitled (Horses), acrylic on canvas, 2003.

On display at the show are 10 works by Raza and six by Husain, from the 1940s to 2007, which have not been shown in the city before. The show is spread across three exhibition rooms. The first comprises works by both artists. The second is dedicated to Bindus by Raza. The third is a display of works by Husain where he draws from Indian mythology and aesthetics.

Among the works on display are a rare Raza depiction of a church, from 1958, created during a phase when he painted and scratched out buildings in thick gouache.

The Husain works here include a rare portrayal of his daughter Raisa from 1974.

Divergent Confluences is the second in a series of special anniversary shows being held at Akara through the year.

First Published: Jul 04, 2019 19:43 IST