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Lecture: Husain's India—An Artist and His Country

October 20, 2017
Morton Auditorium
Free with museum admission

On the occasion of the museum’s exhibition of the Indian Civilization series by Maqbool Fida Husain (1915–2011), Sumathi Ramaswamy’s lecture reviews the artist’s long and sustained engagement with the nation that he was proud to call his home. For more than half a century—and across thousands of canvases—Husain painted individuals and objects, events and incidents that offered an astonishing visual chronicle of independent India’s many engagements with its complicated past and equally fraught modernity in a signature modernist style that is simultaneously “Indian” and “global.”

Sumathi Ramaswamy is professor of history at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

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Maqbool Fida Husain. Am I the Relic of the British Empire, 1989. Kumar Art Gallery, New Delhi.