Lot 52
  • 52

Sayed Haider Raza

100,000 - 150,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Sayed Haider Raza
  • Bindu (Five Elements)
  • Signed, dated, titled and inscribed 'RAZA / "BINDU" / (five elements) / 100 x 100 cm / 1999 / Acrylic on canvas’ on reverse
  • Acrylic on canvas


Acquired in 1999 from Sharan Apparao of Apparao Galleries, Chennai

Catalogue Note

In the 1970s, Sayed Haider Raza's work underwent a dramatic transformation - he moved from expressionistic landscapes to more non-representational landscapes where essence took precedence over realistic form. Raza states that, "[s]ometime 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 Magazine, March/April 2007, p. 57). In Vedic Sanskrit, Bindu literally means a drop or a point and he asserts that the Bindu is "a focal point of concentration, a concept which is steeped with the potential and wisdom of generations" (G. Sen, Bindu, Space and Time in Raza’s Vision, New Delhi, 1997, p.126).

Colour is another dominant component of Raza’s oeuvre. His pre-occupation with nature stemmed from his childhood memories spent in the forests of his native village of Babaria, in Madhya Pradesh. His use of primary colours highlights the elements of nature; red, blue, yellow, white and black comprise fire, water, wind, earth and the sun. He utilises points, lines and diagonals to "explore the forces that control the sacred order in the universe, and to express these forces" (ibid., p.137).

This delicately rendered painting is an early example of Raza's depictions of the Bindu. He went on to perfect this symbolism throughout the 1980-1990s. Devoid of any figures or forms, this striking work also hails from a simpler time before a multitude of shapes and words started to pervade his canvases. 'Like the universal order of the earth-seed relationship, the original form of the Bindu emerges and unfolds itself in black space. All inherent forces unite. A vertical line intersects a horizontal line, engendering energy and light. Space is charged' (ibid., p. 107).