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S. H. Raza

"The Bindu symbolizes the seed, bearing the potential of all life"

Sayed Haider Raza calls his work a "result of two parallel enquiries." Firstly, it is aimed at a "pure plastic order" and secondly, it concerns the theme of nature. Both converge into a single point and become inseparable - the "Bindu" (the dot or the epicentre). Raza's work has formalism, for which he trained in France, as well as the mystic aspects of Hindu philosophy.

His early themes were drawn from his memories of a childhood spent in the forests of his native village of Barbaria, in Madhya Pradesh. Raza's style has evolved over the years -he began with expressionist landscapes, which became rigid, geometric representations of landscape in the 1950s. Later, the lines blurred and colour began to dominate; his theme was still landscape but it was now non-representational. In the late 70s, he focus turned to pure geometrical forms; his images were improvisations on an essential theme: that of the mapping out of a metaphorical space in the mind. The circle or "Bindu" now became more of an icon, sacred in its symbolism, and placing his work in an Indian context.

Raza was one of the founders of the Progressive Artist's Group, along with K.H. Ara and F.N. Souza. He has participated in numerous exhibitions, including the Sao Paulo Biennale in 1958, the Biennale de Menton, in France in 1966, 1968 and in 1978, and Contemporary Indian Painting, at the Royal Academy in London, in 1982. He was conferred the Padma Shree Award by the President of India, in 1981. Raza lives and works in France.

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