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S.H.Raza paintings, Indian artist S H Raza, indian painter par excellence

S.H.Raza is better known as the ‘master of colors’. Raza is one of the distinguished Indian artists of the century. His works basically include real and abstract landscapes blossomed with vibrant colors.

Born in Madhya Pradesh, Syed Haider Raza studied painting at the Nagpur school of art. He later moved to Mumbai to study at the J.J. School of art. He was one of the founder members of the Progressive Artist’s group. In his early days, he struggled to develop a modernist language. Before leaving for France, he had many exhibitions of his art works in India. The govt. of France granted him a schlorship in 1950. He studied painting in Paris at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts from 1950 to 1953. S H Raza was awarded the title ‘Padma Shri’ in 1981.

He was also awarded Kalidas Samman from the government of Madhya Pradesh. In 1965, he was given the Prix de la Critique award in Paris. In 1962, the University of California invited him as a visiting lecturer at the art department of Berkeley. Raza has held several painting exhibitions across the country. In 1997, he showcased his work at his exhibitions held in Mumbai, Bhopal and New Delhi. He is also participated in the exhibitions held at Venice, Sao Paulo, and Menton biennales in France. He is married to a French artist named Janine Mongillat. Raza always chose to focus on landscape than his contemporaries who chose more figural objects. The artist, these days, mostly lives in Paris or in Gorbio in south France. At a recent painting auction held in December 2006, Raza’s painting was reportedly sold for US dollar 1.4 million.

Raza emphasized western modernism and his paintings always depicted abstraction. Raza also integrated rudiments of Tantrism which retains Indian scriptural texts.  Raza is mainly a nature based painter who has come a long way from painting ex-pressionistic landscapes to abstract ones. Mesmerized with the rustic countryside of rural France, Raza captures the architectural beauty of this region in his paintings. Raza uses wavy brushstrokes and other stylistic devices of paint which entices the art lovers. His earlier works were dazzling with vivacious colors oozing the eye of the on-looker but off late his work has become more subtle and restrained. Raza believes that his work is his own inner experience and involvement with the ambiguity of nature and form which is articulated in color, line, space and light. Raza’s colorful paintings are associated with the symbolic and emotive value of all the vibrant colors of India.

Raza’s work indeed captivates the eye. His use of heavy paint and pulsating colors makes one gaze at his landscapes. Raza still lingers onto his childhood memories spent in forests where he was inspired to paint and stimulated by the Indian metaphysical contemplation. S. H Raza indeed is one of the inspiring faces for the aspiring painters and he will continue to remain a living legend in the eyes of art aficionado.



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