Lightning by M.F. Husain
Territory: USA & Canada
Size: 9 in x 11 in
Illustrations: 113 color
- The first volume to offer such a perspective on Lightning, one of Husain's most controversial works
- Features many essays by renowned scholars of art, in additions to interviews conducted with Husain
Lightning was created in 1975, during a very controversial period in India's history, to be the backdrop of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's Emergency speech. Given the short time frame that M.F. Husain had to complete the work, it was titled Lightning, because it came about in a flash. The masterpiece was made up of twelve massive panels with ten wild, white horses charging through an open space.
The significance of the painting is heightened not only by its sheer size or the brilliant rendering of its subject by the artist but also the time it was executed and the ideologies it stands for. The painting included depictions of family planning, farmers and their families, and a builder with an axe in hand. The work portrayed the political climate of the time in India post-separation.
This book was conceived in honor of Husain, and various anecdotal stories and interviews on the painting form a part of this book. The selected authors invited to write on Lightning address the painting as well as its creator from various angles. It is an attempt to create a whole story around this masterpiece; every brush stroke and every inch of the canvas has a story, secretly tucked away in the midst of the powerfully rendered horses, that is left for the beholder to decipher.
Published in association with TamarindArt, New York, and Asia Society Museum, New York.
Contents: Foreword; Journey of Lightning, its Creator and the Progressive Movement; A Personal Commentary; Biography; The Advent of a Masterpiece; The Roar of Crores; East Meets East in Husain's Horses; Like Thunder and Lightning; A Narrative of the Nation; Husain's Journey; Troublesome Entanglements: Art and the Asian Nation; In Conversation with M.F. Husain; The Unveiling of Lightning in New York; M.F. Husain; Selected Exhibitions.