Though Raza has resided in France since 1950, his Indian background has continued to play a significant role in influencing his work. Raza once stated, "sometime between 1975 and 1980, I began to feel the draw of my Indian heritage. I thought: I come from Indian, I have a different vision; I should incorporate what I have learned in France with Indian concepts" (Raza in conversation with Amrita Jhaveri, Sotheby's Preview Magazine, 2007). Most significantly, Raza was inspired by mandalas and yantra, recognised as powerful visual aids to meditation, as well as the colours used in Indian miniature painting. By the mid-1980s, Raza’s paintings had become tightly ordered geometric compositions that were closely related to these ancient artistic diagrams and the philosophical theories that they represent.
Sayed Haider Raza, Bharitya Samaroh, signed, dated and inscribed Raza / 1988 / Acrylique sur toile / 150 x 150 cm on reverse. Estimate £500,000–700,000.
The current painting is an extraordinary example of the artist’s signature meditations on the bindu, or black moon. The artist spoke of the significance of the bindu, saying “The bindu is the symbol not only of Hindu spirituality, but also of Indian art, aesthetics and awareness of life. It is absolutely primordial in its nature. When I paint the bindu, I am aware that I am literally in the womb of time, with no disturbance of sound or sight and that I am creating a spark of divinity […] wherever my painting hangs, I create a temple.”
Composed of 33 squares which form a matrix of interrelating abstract and geometric elements, and a large and imposing black bindu, the work utilizes bold primary colours and the guiding principle of orthogonality.