Syed Haider Raza (B.1922,Babaria, India)
Syed Haider Raza or S.H. Raza is an eminent Indian artist who has lived & worked in France since 1950, but maintains strong ties with India. His works are mainly abstracts in oil or acrylic, with a very rich use of colour, with icons from Indian cosmology as well as its philosophy. He was awarded the Padma Shri & Fellowship of the Lalit Kala Akaderni in 1981 & Padma Bhushan in 2007 . At a December 2006 auction, a painting by Raza sold for US $1.4million.
S.H. Raza started to draw and to study art at age 12 & after his high school, he studied further at the Nagpur School of Art, Nagpur, followed by Sir J. J. School of Art, in Bombay before moving to France in 1950to study at the Ecole nationale superieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSB-A) in Paris.
After his studies, he travelled across Europe & continued to live and exhibit his work in Paris. Once in France, he tried to experiment with currents of Western Modernism moving from Expressionist modes towards greater abstraction & eventually incorporating elements of Tantrism from Indian scriptures. Whereas his fellow contemporaries dealt with more figural subjects, Raza chose to focus on landscapes inspired in part by France. He was later awarded the Prix de la critique in Paris in 1956, & was the first non-French artist receive the honour. From his fluent water colours of landscapes and townscapes executed in the early 40's he moved towards a more expressive language representing - landscapes of the mind.