Lot 57
  • 57

Sayed Haider Raza (b.1922)

200,000 - 300,000 USD
242,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • Sayed Haider Raza
  • Jalashaya
  • Signed, dated and inscribed 'RAZA/ 2000/ 100 x 100 cms./ Acrylique du toile/ Jalashaya' on reverse
  • Acrylic on canvas


Institute for Contemporary Indian Art, Mumbai, S.H. Raza Retrospective, 2007

Catalogue Note

"Raza remains characterized by the crossbreeding of the modernity of Europe and America and the spirituality of India. His evolution can be observed in the successive stages that structured his life: at every moment of his thought process, life, nature and their mysteries have been forever present," (Imbert, Raza: An Introduction to his Painting, New Delhi, 2003, p. 54).

Throughout his career, Raza has been influenced by the mystical power of nature. The elements and the potency of colors and symbols to represent these elements are central to the evolution of Raza's artistic vocabulary.

In a recent conversation, Raza stated that "... 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, and ancient Indian art, particularly Hindu, Buddhist and Jain art. I was impressed by paintings from Basholi, Malwa and Mewar, and began combining colors in a manner that echoed Indian miniature painting," (Raza rpt. A. Jhaveri, Sotheby's Preview Magazine, 2007).

The use of symbols is sanctified by an ancient and continuous Indian tradition of visual abstraction. The mandala and yantra are powerful visual aids to meditation and reflect the interconnected nature of the universe to the initiated viewer. By the mid 1980's, Raza's paintings had become tightly ordered geometric compositions that were very closely related to these ancient artistic diagrams, and the philosophical theories that they represent.

Despite the direct influence of these ancient treatises on composition and form, Raza recognizes in his own works the element of intuition that also works at a subconscious level during his creative process. This intuitive approach cannot be overlooked, for it is through his experience as an artist and as an individual that new and unexpected elements manifest themselves—even within his structured later works, such as the current work from 2000.

"All my life, I have been searching for the logic of form: for coherence in the elements of painting," explains the artist. "Now, I am inclined to think that there is no formal logic. Reasoning, order logic: these are at the beginning. These are the fundamental inquiries that are indispensable. Thereafter, you go to other levels, where logic is left behind," (Sen, Bindu: Space and Time in Raza's Vision, New Delhi, 1997, p. 148).