The Wall Street Journal reports that M.F. Husain, the giant of 20th Century Indian art has died at 96:
He was known as “the barefoot artist” for his habit of eschewing shoes on most occasions, which according to lore led to him being barred from entering an elite Bombay private club.
“Husain’s bare feet always symbolized his connection to the people of his country and kept him grounded in its ethos, even as he rose from his very humble origins to hobnob with the rich and powerful,” said photographer Ram Rahman, in New York, whose parents were friends of the artist.
For many in India, M. F. Husain personified modern Indian art, said Indian Vice-President Hamid Anasari in a condolence message on Thursday, calling him “a keen observer of our national evolution.”
The Telegraph explains how his market formed:
Mr Husain, known as ‘India’s Picasso’, emerged as its most successful international artist in the 1980s after his work caught the attention of a number of wealthy and influential patrons including the Hinduja brothers and the American collectors Chester and Davida Herwitz.
Famed But Controversial Painter Husain Dies (Wall Street Journal)
India’s Picasso Dies (Telegraph)