SYED HAIDER RAZA

Syed Haider Raza Alias S.H. Raza (born 22 February 1922) is an Indian artist who has lived and worked in France since 1950, but maintains strong ties with India.

His works are mainly abstracts in oil or acrylic, with a very rich use of color, replete with icons from Indian cosmology as well as its philosophy. He was awarded the Padma Shri and Fellowship of the Lalit Kala Akademi in 1981, Padma Bhushan in 2007,and Padma Vibhushan in 2013. He became India's priciest modern artist on June 10, 2010 when a seminal work, 'Saurashtra' by the 88-year-old sold for 16.42 crore ($3,486,965) at a Christie's auction. 

Syed Haider Raza was born in Babaria, Mandla district, Madhya Pradesh, to Sayed Mohammed Razi, the Deputy Forest Ranger of the district and Tahira Begum,and it was here that he spent his early years and took to drawing at age 12; before moving to Damoh also in Madhya Pradesh at 13, where he completed his school education from Government High School, Damoh.

After his high school, he studied further at the Nagpur School of Art, Nagpur (1939 - 43), followed by Sir J. J. School of Art, Bombay (1943 - 47), before moving to France in October 1950 to study at the Ecole nationale superieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSB-A) in Paris, 1950-1953 on a Govt. of France scholarship. After his studies, he travelled across Europe, and continued to live and exhibit his work in Paris. He was later awarded the Prix de la critique in Paris in 1956, becoming the first non-French artist to receive the honour.

The Bindu and Beyond

By the 1970s Raza had grown increasingly unhappy and restless with his own work and wanted to find a new direction and deeper authenticity in his work, and move away from what he called the 'plastic art'. His trips to India, especially to caves of Ajanta - Ellora, followed by those Benaras, Gujarat and Rajasthan, made him realise his ro and study Indian culture more closely, the result was 'Bindu', which signified his rebirth as a painter.The Bindu came forth in 1980, and took his work deeper and brought in, his new-found Indian vision and Indian ethnography. One of the reasons he attributes to the origin of the 'Bindu', have been his elementary school teacher, who on finding him lacking adequate concentration, drew a dot on the blackboard and asked him to concentrate on it. After the introduction of 'Bindu' (a point or the source of energy), he added newer dimensions to his thematic oeuvre in the following decades, with the inclusion of themes around the Tribhuj (Triangle), which bolstered Indian concepts of space and time, as well as that of 'prakriti-purusha' (the female and the male energy), his transformation from an expressionist to a master of abstraction and profundity, was complete.

"My work is my own inner experience and involvement with the mysteries of nature and form which is expressed in colour, line, space and light".--- S. H. Raza

The unique energy vibrating with colour in his early landscapes are now more subtle but equally, if not more, dynamic. Raza abandoned the expressionistic landscape for a geometric abstraction and the 'Bindu'. Raza perceives the Bindu as the center of creation and existence progressing towards forms and colour as well as energy, sound, space and time.

His work took another leap in 2000, when he began to express his increasingly deepened insights and thoughts on Indian spiritual, and created works around the Kundalini, Nagas and the Mahabharat.

Personal life:S. H. Raza married Janine Mongillat, his fellow student at Ecole de Beaux Arts in Paris and later became a well-known artist and sculptor. They married in 1959, and at the request of her mother not to leave France, Raza chose to remain.Janine died on April 5, 2002 in Paris.

Awards and Honours:

1946: Silver Medal, Bombay Art Society, Mumbai.
1948: Gold Medal, Bombay Art Society, Mumbai.
1956: Prix de la critique, Paris.
1981: Padma Shri; the Government of India.
1981: Fellowship of the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.
1981:Kalidas Samman, Government of Madhya Pradesh.
2007: Padma Bhushan; the Government of India.
2013: Padma Vibhushan; the Government of India.
Cddhytgatgvcn ghh xas kiyt bnfgt. N  art critics and the owner of the paintings