Husain`s poem in his own hand on sale

Updated: Sep 26, 2010, 09:38 AM IST

New Delhi: A rare handwritten Hindi poem by artist MF Husain, "Mere Dil ki Dhadkan...(The beat of my heart)", is one of the prized pieces at an exhibition of art, "Weaving Legacy 10" here, and it is on sale.

The poem, composed in a stylised manner with accompanying line drawings and doodles on four ordinary text-book sheets with black ink, brings forth the artist`s troubled emotional state and a sense of nihilism.

The work, dating back to the 1990s, is priced at Rs.2.5 lakh.

"The exhibit sourced from a private collector for the exhibition is rare because it was meant to be reproduced as a limited edition print. But for some reason, it could not be printed," Gargi Seth, curator of the show, told reporters.

"The work on display is the lone copy of the poem in the country now," she added.

Husain, who turned 95 Sep 17, is known to write poems between his work. His penchant for poetry prompted him to paint 16 canvases based on Javed Akhtar`s award-winning collection of poems, "Tarkash".

At 95, Husain is still busy making installation art in his new homeland, Doha.

The exhibition displaying 70 art works, including sculptures, combines contributions by old and new artists to reach out to all segments of viewers.

Most of the vintage works are sought-after because they have made few appearances at exhibitions, Seth said.

Two drawings on old maps by Anjolie Ela Menon, sketches of horses by Paritosh Sen, a composition of Radha and Krishna by Prokash Karmakar, untitled still lifes by FN Souza, colour drawing by Lalu Prasad Shaw, drawings by Jogen Chowdhury, Thota Vaikuntam, Jatin Das and a photographic composition by Rameswhar Broota comprise the elite panorama of contemporary pioneers on the show.

Works by Sanjay Bhattacharya, Chandana Hore, daughter of sculptor Somnath Hore, and Nupur Kundu have drawn enquiries from buyers in the contemporary section, Seth said.

The prices of the works range between Rs.25,000 and Rs.25 lakh.

"The market is looking up with an increased demand for contemporary art," Seth, the owner of the Noida-based India Art Circle, said.

She said the art galleries in the capital were upbeat because the government has decided to assist private non-profit organisations promoting art, in a departure from its institutional patronage to arts. Delhi has nearly 250 galleries and display spaces.

"The government also wants to highlight artistic talent and traditions from the northeast under its new schemes," she said.

The exhibition, inaugurated by secretary of culture Jawhar Sircar Wednesday at the Visual Arts Gallery, will end Sunday.

IANS