M F Husain’s mural-sized painting ‘Lightning’ famous at Asia Society Museum


A big 10-foot tall mural-sized portray created in 1975 by legendary artist M F Husain as a backdrop for former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s public rally is on display at the renowned Asia Society Museum here.

The 60-foot huge oil on canvas painting ‘Lightning’ depicts horses, among Husain’s favorite subjects to color, on 12 big panels put together.

One of the founding participants of the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group, Husain created the portray as part of a series of artwork approximately India’s first woman Prime Minister.


Gandhi had completed eleven years as prime minister and turned into addressing an assembly in Shivaji Park in Mumbai, then called Bombay in 1975.

Husain painted ‘Lightning’ as a backdrop to this assembly.

On June 25 of that 12 months, Gandhi imposed a kingdom of emergency across India.

The exhibition ‘M F Husain – Art and The Nation’ will run on the main museum and cultural organization through August 4.

The portray has been lent to Asia Society by using entrepreneur, investor, and art collector Kent Charugundla, who had purchased the paintings from Husain in December 2002.

Charugundla said after he began amassing the innovative artist’s works, he turned into inquisitive about Husain’s artwork and wanted to have his biggest paintings.

Lightning became not only one of Husain’s seminal works however also his signature artwork of horses.

Charugundla advised PTI he decided to lend the portray to Asia Society Museum due to the fact he wanted “anybody to have access to it and revel in the masterpiece that M F Husain created in 1975 as a backdrop of the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi’s speech”.

Charugundla said it changed into an “honor” for him to very own an artwork of this kind of big scale.

Emphasizing the painting’s importance to him, he stated Husain presentations symbols of struggle, own family planning, agriculture and nuclear energy in unmarried artwork.

“He suggests the electricity of the horses marching from darkness to light with this kind of great power and energy, charging to reach a destination,” he brought.

“Lightning of M F Husain for India is what Guernica of Picasso is for Spain,” Charugundla stated, relating to Picasso’s maximum well-known 1937 anti-war painting created in reaction to the bombing of Guernica, a Basque Country city in northern Spain, by Nazi Germany.

“The grandeur of the bigger-than-existence size horses depicted consumes and overpowers the visitors. It additionally shows the capacity to execute a painting on one of this large scale is a top-notch accomplishment,” he stated.

The 12 large panels of the portray are affected by visual references to India and the Nineteen Seventies, and although absent visually, to Gandhi herself, according to records approximately the portray from Asia Society.

“That Lightning becomes created in this tumultuous duration of India’s history, positions Husain on the middle of Indian modernism and elicits discussions approximately the position of art in transferring political contexts,” an overview of the showcase said.

Against a history of inexperienced, red, blue, purple and white horses mentioned in black price in a lively and frenetic line toward the left, a demonstration of the unstoppable development of the new nation.

The painting is filled with visual references to India inside the Nineteen Seventies in addition to to Gandhi.

According to facts at the Asia Society website about the portray, the grain stalk seen toward the right of the artwork references India’s Green Revolution from 1967 to 1978 that changed into initiated in an try and make the state self-enough in grain production.

On the left is a mother together with her two younger children marked with a crimson triangle, denoting India’s own family planning guidelines.

Other visible references in Lightning evoke u . S .’s business and army targets.

The horse at a long way left of the painting is framed via the crimson solar of atomic strength, a sign of the new state’s technological promise of nuclear power.