Untitled (Man and Woman), was painted the year Husain won the Golder Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival, for his work ‘Through the Eyes of a Painter’. Indeed, the imagery in this painting features throughout the film, that of a man and woman from rural India. The figure on the left is painted in burnt earthy tones with flashes of green. The construction of the female figure is typically seen in work from his ‘Rajasthan’ series, painted after his tour through the region in the early 1960s. The figure to the right, although faceless, is clearly male, painted in ethereal whites and blues. The dividing line between the two figures suggesting the separation of the divine from the human, the sacred from the profane, man from woman.
“Like Picasso, Husain has been deeply isolated in his personal life. In response to his inner necessity, his paintings of [the late 1960s/early 1970s] more than ever appear to fracture the metaphor of sex into a tension of opposites, an affair of shadowy alienation that finds darkness at the heart of genesis.” Shiv Kapur, Husain, New York, 1972, p. 46
Private collection, Florida, USA; Grosvenor Gallery, London
South Asian Modern Art 2020, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 23 July - 14 August 2020 (illustrated exh. cat. pg. 43)
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