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Lot Details

Signed and dated 'Raza 74' (lower right)
Further signed, dated, and inscribed 'Raza / 1974 / 6P' (on the reverse)
Bearing Bodhi Art label (on the reverse)
Bearing Artcurial label (on back of the frame)

Artcurial / Lot 451 / Contemporary Art 2 / 4 April 2007 / Paris
Private collection, Singapore
Artiana / Sale 1902 / Lot 6 / South Asian Art - Modern and Contemporary / 13-17 June 2019 / Dubai
Private collection, Dubai

Sayed Haider Raza had grown increasingly unhappy and restless with his work by the start of the 1970s. This desire for a new direction and deeper authenticity in his work urged him to move away from plastic arts and study his Indian heritage in-depth. He experienced a gradual transformation starting from this period, shifting from expressionism to abstraction before ultimately; arriving at the Bindu.

Painted in 1974, a decade after Raza's shift in style to find a purer form of abstraction, the current work is part of the culmination of a period of experimentation and a precursor to the artist's heavily structured geometric canvases.

He was no longer concerned with the representational aiming to communicate mood rather than images. He skillfully used colours and gestural brushstrokes to convey warmth and lyrical messages rather than direct representation to express emotions in his pieces. Albeit the change in stylistic and technical concerns, nature and its elements had remained the basis and inspiration of his art.

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.