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Sayed Haider Raza

Sayed Haider Raza

1922-2016

Sayed Haider Raza was born in 1922 in Babaria, Madhya Pradesh.

He studied painting at the Nagpur School of Art and Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai. In 1950 he received the French Government Scholarship to study painting at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts in Paris, France till 1953. Raza was the founder member of the Progressive Artists’ Group (PAG) and had several exhibitions in India before leaving for Paris.

Raza had several solo shows:
From 1947 - 1948 he showcased at Bombay Art Society. In 1958, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1967 and 1969 he had one-man show at Gallery Lara Vincy, Paris. In 1959, 1968, 1976, 1978, 1984 and 1985 he revisited India. In 1959 he had an exhibition at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai. In 1959 he was showcased in AIFACS Gallery, New Delhi. In 1962 and 1968 he had a solo at Gallerie Dresdnere, Toronto. In 1962 he was exhibited at Lanyon Gallery, Paolo Alto in USA. He showcased in Worth Ryder Art Gallery, Berkeley, USA. In 1963 and 1968 he had a solo at Dom Gallery, Germany. In 1968 he had a one man show at Tecta Galerie, Germany. In 1968 he had an exhibition at Gallery Chemould, Mumbai. In 1972 he had a solo show at Abbaye du Pommier, Le Grenier, Roquebrune Village, France. In 1974 he showcased at La Palette, Trouville, France. In 1975 he exhibited at Gallerie Matuzia, San Remo, Italy. In 1976 he had a solo exhibition at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai. In 1976 and 1977 he had exhibited in Norway and Grenoble. In 1978 he exhibited Pictorial Space at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi. In 1978 he exhibited at Salon de Dessin, Paris; at Vieux Presbitaire, Gorbio; at L’ Estampe Aujourd’hui Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris and Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain at Grand Palais, Paris. In 1980 he exhibited solo in Norway. In 1981 he had one-man show in Denmark and exhibited ‘Contemporary Indian Painting’ at Royal Academy, London. In 1982 he showcased ‘India, Myth and Reality’, Aspects of Modern Indian Art at Museum of Modern Art in Oxford, UK. In 1983 he showcased at Salon de Mai, Paris and at Bibliotheque Nationale, Luxembourg. In 1984 he was exhibited at J. Y. Noblet, Paris.

He participated in several group shows:
In 1959 - 1960 he participated in a group exhibition at Galerie Dresdnere, Montreal. In 1985 he participated in ‘Artistes Indiens en France’ des Arts Graphiques et Plastique, Paris. In 1986 he took part in Biennale at Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal. In 1987 he participated in Biennale of Havana, Cuba and ‘Coups de Coeur’ at Halles de I’lle in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1988 he participated in a group show at Maison de la Culture, Space Andre Malraux, Reims, France. In 1988 he participated in a group show at Salon de Mai, Grand Palais, Paris and participated in Artistes Indiens a Paris at Galerie Cygne, Paris. In 1990 he took part in ‘Realite Seconde’ at Galerie Ariane, Paris. In 1991 he participated in ‘State of Art’ Paintings with Computer at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai and in Ceramics, ‘Faenza Anni 90’, Italy. He took part in International Biennale de Dakar, Senegal. In 1993 he took part in Wounds at Center of International Modern Art, Calcutta. In 1994 he took part in a show at Salon de Mai, Espace Branley, Paris. In 1995 he participated in ‘Sept Peintres Indiens Contemporains’ at Le Monde De L’Art, Paris and in ‘Reaching for Each Other’ at Festival D’Avignon, Avignon, France; he took part in ‘A Tree in my Life’ at Village Gallery, New Delhi. In 1996 he participated in Harmony show at Nehru Centre, Bombay; he participated in ‘Les Ocean’ at Metropolitaine at Lisbonne, Portugal; ‘Within the Frame’ at Visual Art Centre, Hongkong; he participated in ‘Chamatkar: The Indian Metaphor’ at Whiteleya Art Gallery in London, UK. In 1997 he participated in The Moderns, The Progressive Artists’ Group at National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai. In 2001 he had a two people show ‘Symphony in White’ with Seema Ghurayya at Gallery 7, Mumbai.

He won several awards and honours:
In 1956 Raza was awarded the Prix de la Critique, Paris. In 1981 he was awarded the Padma Shri. In 1997 he was awarded the Kalidas Samman by the Madhya Pradesh Government. In 1997 A retrospective was held at Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh; at the Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai and at the National Gallery Modern Art, New Delhi.

Raza’s La Terre sold at a Christie’s auction in 2008 for over 2.5million US dollars and is among the top five most expensive Indian paintings.

Raza passed away in 2016.

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