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Maqbool Fida Husain (B. 1915)
Signed in English at upper left: Husain
Acrylic on canvas
35¾ x 31½ in. (91.2 x 80 cm.)

Lot Essay

Maqbool Fida Husain often used subjects from his daily life to explore compositional structure and form. In Puppeteers, Husain collapses the pictorial plane arranging the image from shapes more reminiscent of cut scraps of paper than the dynamic brush strokes characteristic of his style. This gesture towards cubism in his art, enunciated in the angular quality of the figure's bodies and the insertion of geometric forms into otherwise empty space, suggests influences from French and Spanish artists like Ferdinand Leger and Pablo Picasso. However, while many artists looked to this period in art history for inspiration, Husain employs a color choice characteristic of Indian painting and a subject which is unique to his experiences. Interestingly, as a young artist struggling to make ends meet, Husain worked for a short time at a toy factory in India.

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