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Lot Details

Signed and dated 'RAZA '77' (lower right)
Further signed, titled, dated and inscribed 'RAZA / "Rajasthan" / 1977 / acrylic on paper / 65 x 50 cm' (on the reverse)
Initialed twice and further titled in Hindi (on the reverse)

Acquired directly from the artist

Ashok Vajpeyi, A Life in Art: S.H Raza, Art Alive Masters Series Books, New Delhi, 2007, p. 213 (illustrated)
Alain Bonfand, Raza, Editions de la Différence, Paris, 2008, p. 101 (illustrated)
Anne Macklin, SH Raza, Catalogue Raisonné, 1972 - 1989 (Volume II), Vadehra Art Gallery and The Raza Foundation, New Delhi, 2022, p. 164 (Ref 77 - 08) (illustrated)
Ashok Vajpeyi (ed), Sayed Haider Raza, Mapin Publishing in association with The Raza Foundation, India, 2023, p. 260 (illustrated)

The 1970's was a period where Raza’s stress on his Indian sensibilities became most apparent. Having left for France in the early 1950's, Raza’s sense of memory – particularly of his childhood tryst with the earth, forests and rivers – played a strong role in shaping his artistic worldview. These memories were reinstated and patched together in the frequent visits he would make to India through the 1960s.

Drawing from the miniature traditions of the Rajputs and the landscapes of Rajasthan, Raza addressed this sense of nostalgia through major parts of the 1970's and 1980's. The melange of colours and distinct brush strokes evoke a vibrant representation of Indian landscapes, while retaining a non-representational quality that had become typical to Raza by this period.

"Sometime between 1975 and 1980, I began to feel the draw of my Indian heritage. I thought: I come from India, I have a different vision; I should incorporate what I have learned in France with Indian concepts. In this period, I visited India every year to study Indian philosophy, iconography, magic diagrams (yantras), and ancient Indian art, particularly Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain art. I was impressed by paintings from Basholi, Malwa, and Mewar, and began combining colours in a manner that echoed Indian miniature painting." (Raza in conversation with Amrita Jhaveri, Sotheby’s Preview, March/April 2007, p.57)

Sayed 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.