Signed in Urdu and English, ‘Husain’ and dated ’77’ (lower right)
(Lot Note: Part of the artist's Andhra Cyclone Series)
Art Heritage Gallery, New Delhi
Private collection, Dubai
Many of Husain’s works show the artist’s concern for the suffering of India’s people, both articulating their plight and courage and offering a message of hope and the possibility of redemption.
In 1977, a cyclone ravaged the state of Andhra Pradesh, killing nearly 10,000 people. In response to this tragedy, Husain painted the Andra Cyclone Series, works that reflect gentle comfort to those in mourning and resolute hope for survivors of the disaster, one of which is the current lot.
In the work, a lamb is seen in a barren landscape, silhouetted against a dark background. Choosing the lamb was deliberate on Husain's part, it was after all a symbol of hope and an important symbol of spiritual purity in Christianity, a large minority religion in the region.
Evident in this work and his many other social pieces, Husain's sensibility as an artist goes much more than the humorous and the satire. His deep belief in India's secularity and pluralism gave his works traction for the better and the worse but gave them the gravitas to transform not only the mythic but also lived tragedy into powerful contemporary statements.