LOT NO.
12

Syed Haider Raza

Earth
acrylic on canvas
23.5 x 23.5 in. (60 x 60 cm.)
painted in 2005
Starting Bid: $ 60,000
Estimate: US$ 70,000 - 100,000
Starts in

Lot Details

Signed and dated 'RAZA '05' (lower right)
Further signed, initialed, titled, dated and inscribed 'RAZA / "Earth" / 2005 / 60 x 60 cm. / acrylic on canvas' (on the reverse)

PROVENANCE
Acquired directly from the artist

PUBLISHED
Alain Bonfand, Raza, Paris, 2008, p. 234 (illustrated)

‘Earth’ is a title Raza has invoked more frequently. It serves as an example of the artist’s creative powers at its peak – one that marks his movement towards great levels abstractions, those that were supplemented by geometric representations inspired by Hindu philosophy.

The painting portrays a sense of life, bursting with colours and the rhythms of nature. Influences from France and India are both visible. The discourse between hues, saturated variously, add to the painting’s animated quality. The artist's preoccupation with nature is retained. Raza's interest in nature, however, was far from literal; what fascinated him most was the mystical quality of the cosmos and the role of the human being in its scheme. Relying on symbolism, he used the language of line, point, square, diagonal and triangle to bring out the principle of order that organises the meeting of time and space in the cosmic scheme. Traces of Mandalas and Yantra, which are significant visual aids to meditate on and which reflect a symbolic union between the self and the universe, can be seen in the painting.

Syed Haider Raza

(1922 - 2016)
Born in 1922 in Babaria, Madhya Pradesh, Raza graduated from the Nagpur School of Art in 1943 and the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai in 1947. He was one of the founding members of the Progressive Artists’ Group in 1948. After receiving a French Government Scholarship in 1950 he left for Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts, Paris, where he was awarded the Prix de la Critique in 1956. In 1962 he served as a visiting lecturer at the University of California in Berkeley, USA. Raza has several solo exhibitions to his credit, including ‘Paysage: Select Works 1950s-1970s’, ‘Parikrama: Around Gandhi’, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, in 2014; ‘Shabd-Bindu’, Akar Prakar, Kolkata, in 2013; ‘Vistaar’, Art Musings and Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, in 2012-13, ‘Bindu Vistaar’, Grosvenor Gallery, London, in 2012; ‘Punarangman’, Vadehra Art Gallery and Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, in 2011; ‘Ones’ at Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, in 2011 and 2010; Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai, 2008 and 2006; and Saffronart and Berkeley Square Gallery, London and New York, 2005. In 2007 Saffronart held a major retrospective of his work in New York. Raza’s work has been exhibited in several group exhibitions including those at Aicon Gallery, New York and London, in 2014, 13, 12, 11, 10; the Museum of Fine Art, Boston, in 2009; Grosvenor Gallery, London, Mumbai, 2004; Saffronart and Pundole Art Gallery, New York, 2001 and 2002; and Saffronart, Hong Kong and Los Angeles, 2001 among several others. Raza received a Lalit Kala Ratna from the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi in 2004, and a Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri from the Government of India in 2007 and 1981 respectively. The Madhya Pradesh State Government also awarded him with the Kalidas Samman in 1996-97. Raza lived and worked in Paris and Gorbio, France, till 2011. The artist passed away in New Delhi in July 2016.