Morning Raga
Syed Haidar Raza
Morning Raga
S.H. Raza (Syed Haidar Raza) (Indian, based in France; Contemporary; b. 1922): Morning Raga, 2007. Acrylic on Canvas, 47 x 59 inches. © Syed Haidar Raza. © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.

'In the 1940s, he was essentially a nature-based artist, painting landscapes and townscapes … In the late 1970s, he began afresh. He had a closer look at Indian culture and aesthetics. Symbols like the bindu, mandala, naga, prakriti, purusha, panchtatwa emerged in his work. "I integrated this ethnography, these icons in my work," he says. "I was till then a French painter. I did my own research and took what I felt was important."

… "Bindu is the centre of my life," says Raza. Hindu religious thought attributes energy, time, space and perhaps the first light and the first sound to this infinitesimal dot … Raza studied Indian primitive art, visited the caves of Ajanta and Ellora, the miniature paintings. "I tried to incorporate those ideas in my painting without copying them," he says. With the marriage of French technique and Indian concepts, a new artist was born.'

… The bindu maybe the leitmotif of his work, but his journey knows no full stops. "Mere maula mujhe sahibe junoon kar," he says. "Let me be the master of madness."'

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