This untitled painting from 1981 was created on the cusp of Raza’s progression towards formal geometric compositions dominated by their color and shape. He started to use more earthy tones rather than his earlier brightly painted compositions, as evidenced here. “For black was the mother of all colors and the one from which all others were born. It was also the void from which sprang the manifest universe [...] Some of the most haunting works of this period are those which evoke the night [...] where the liminal sheaths of black are illuminated by sparks of white light [...] As with Mark Rothko, black is one of the richest colors in Raza’s palette and signifies a state of fulsomeness. However, for both painters, colors plumb the depths and are not simply used for their own sake.” (Y. Dalmia, ‘The Subliminal World of Raza’, A Life in Art: S.H. Raza, Art Alive, New Delhi, 2007, p. 197) The thin translucent veneers of acrylic paint used in this lot are not only about space, pigment and line; they convey the artists’ feeling, giving the viewer an insight on how the artist produced his work. The use of the quick-drying acrylic paint also allows for freer and more expressive brushstrokes.
This work has illustrious provenance and was previously sold by Galleri Koloritten, Stavanger, Norway. Raza held his first exhibition in Norway at this gallery in 1974 and then continued to exhibit there for over a decade as he became very close with the owner and her family.
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