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    Sale 2270

    South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art

    19 March 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 1001


    Culture of the Streets

    Price Realised  


    Culture of the Streets
    Portfolio includes introduction by Chester E. Herwitz and thirty-two Kodak C-prints, in a custom made leather portfolio
    signed and numbered '3 Husain' (lower left of the frontispiece)
    10 7/8 x 13 7/8 in. (27.6 x 35.2 cm.) or 13 7/8 x 10 7/8 in. (35.2 x 27.6 cm.) each
    Executed circa 1980s; number three from a limited edition of forty- five
    Set of thirty-two (32)

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    MF Husain was a master of all mediums including painting, drawing, printmaking, photography and filmmaking. Early in his career, the artist supported himself by painting billboards of Indian cinema which would later inform his iconography and style. By the 1980s, these billboards had become a direct subject for Husain. Armed with a 35 mm SLR camera, Husain roamed the streets of Madras to capture the surplus of images from the streets of India. The result was a portfolio of thirty-two photographs and unique visions of modern Indian life. Husain's juxtaposition of the large scale cinema billboards and the pedestrian life beneath highlights the stark contrast between the rich and glamorous world of cinema and the poverty-stricken urban landscape of the under-classes. His photographs capture the complex beauty of a culture steeped in tradition yet struggling to find a modern identity.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from the Collection of Daniel Herwitz and Lucia Saks


    D. Herwitz, Husain: Drawing, Painting, Water Colour, Graphic, Sculpture, Architecture, Photography, Tapestry, Bombay, 1988, pp. 159 - 165, 168 (eight photographs illustrated)
    Six Indian Painters, Exhibition Catalogue, The Tate Gallery, London, 1982, pp. 13, 31, 33 (twelve photographs illustrated)


    London, The Tate Gallery, Six Indian Painters, April - May 1982