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83

SAYED HAIDER RAZA | GERMINATION

VAT reduced rateUK: Greenford Park Warehouse

Estimate:

40,000

to
- 60,000 GBP

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, NORWAY

SAYED HAIDER RAZA | GERMINATION

SAYED HAIDER RAZA | GERMINATION

Estimate:

40,000

to
- 60,000 GBP

Lot sold:

37,800

GBP

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, NORWAY

SAYED HAIDER RAZA

1922 - 2016

GERMINATION


Acrylic on aluminium etching plate

Signed, dated, titled and inscribed 'Germination / Plaque allumin de Gravure / 1986 / 100 x 50 cms / RAZA' on reverse

100 x 50 cm. (39 ¼ x 19 ⅝ in.)

Painted in 1986

To request a condition report for this lot, please email Ishrat.Kanga@sothebys.com

This lot should bear a Warehouse symbol in the printed catalogue and can be collected from Sotheby's Greenford Park warehouse after the sale

Acquired from Galleri Koloritten, Stavanger, Norway, 1988

This work will be included in SH RAZA, Catalogue Raisonné, 1972 – 1989 (Volume II) by Anne Macklin on behalf of The Raza Foundation, New Delhi (Image ref SR3644)

‘Raza’s continuing concern has been with Nature: with the elements of nature which govern Time and Space and infuse order into the universe. To express this concept, he resorts to the principles which govern pictorial language and which, in their turn, infuse order into the canvas. The vocabulary of the point, line and diagonal, of the square, circle and triangle become the essential components of his work – as much as they have always remained the principles used by traditional shilpins when commencing their work.’ (G. Sen, Bindu: Space and Time in Raza's Vision, New Delhi, 1997, p. 148)


During the late 1970s, Sayed Haider Raza became fascinated by the ancient art, philosophy and Tantric traditions of his homeland. This included mandalas and yantras: cosmic diagrams that visualise ancient Indian notions of Time and Space. By the mid 1980s, Raza's paintings had become tightly ordered geometric compositions, closely inspired by these ancient patterns.


The current lot, painted in 1986, exhibits Raza’s newfound preoccupation with geometry and the philosophical theories it could represent. The work is intricately composed of blue triangles, circles and squares. Downward triangles, symbolic of the feminine energy of Shakti, point towards a set of concentric circles below. The centre of these circles represents the bindu, the creative seed from which all life emerges, and the central focus of Raza’s later works: 


“It took many long years before I could realise in successive stages of my development the real significance of the bindu as a primordial symbol of energy, the still centre, or the seed. The concept has pursued me as a lode star, guiding me in life and my work as a painter, all through my life” (S. H. Raza quoted in ibid, p. 126)


Whilst powerfully imbued with Indian symbology, Raza’s geometric works simultaneously speak to Western abstraction. The simplicity and rigorousness of his geometry recalls the grid-based painting of Piet Mondrian, whilst his predilection to concentric sequencing and patterns holds particular echoes of the work of American artist Frank Stella. Thus, in the current lot, Raza deploys a symbiosis of East and West to create a mystic and abstract visual diagram of his own. The work is particularly appealing thanks to its splendent paint surface which glitters in the light.