Signed 'Husain' (upper left)
Acquired directly from the artist
Private collection, Singapore
Hussain’s repertoire is rich in its depiction of Hindu deities. Of these, the artist gives the elephant-headed God, Ganesha a special and prominent place. In this painting, Ganesh is presented as playing the Tanpura with the Tabla kept in the background. A patchwork of colours surround the string and percussion instrument, giving the deity and his music a sense of movement and life. Hussain's sensitivity to music and his effort to give his art a sense of musicality are evident in this work.
‘In negotiating the iconic, Husain has re-invested it with a mythic aura, restoring its original function. [...] In ancient epics, the gods stood for immanent energies and were always symbolically represented, imbued as they were with a universal significance. Husian, under modernism, empowered them with a symbolic presence while contextualising them in the contemporary, thereby layering their form with multiple meanings.’ (Y. Dalmia, The Making of Modern Indian Art: The Progressives, New York, 2001, p. 114)