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Remembering Haku Shah, artist and Gandhian of a vanished generation

When everyone was making a name for themselves, Hakubhai dabbled in too many disciplines for most to view him as a career artist

Haku Shah (26 March 1934-21 March 2019). Courtesy: Parthiv Shah
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Haku Shah (26 March 1934-21 March 2019). Courtesy: Parthiv Shah

Kishore Singh
A few years ago, researching a project under which Indians received a Rockefeller grant to travel to the US, I discovered that Haku Shah had been its recipient in 1968. Several artists had led the way before him — Krishen Khanna, V S Gaitonde, Akbar Padamsee, Avinash Chandra, K G Subramanyan, Tyeb Mehta, all stellar modernists whose works fetch record prices at auctions of Indian art. Hakubhai didn’t strictly fit into this category; indeed, it is rare for his works to come up in auction at all. The mystery soon resolved itself. Shah had got the John D Rockefeller Fund

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First Published: Mar 29 2019 | 8:50 PM IST

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