SH Raza

Sayed Haider Raza was born in Madhya Pradesh, and studied painting at the Nagpur School of Art, and at the Sir J. J. School of Art, Bombay. After receiving a French government scholarship in 1950, he left for Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts, Paris. Raza was awarded the Prix de la Critique in Paris in 1956. In 1962, he served as a visiting lecturer at the University of California in Berkeley, USA. Raza was one of the founders of the Progressive Artists’ Group, along with K.H. Ara and F.N. Souza. He participated in numerous exhibitions, including the Sao Paulo Biennale, 1958; the Biennale de Menton, France, 1966, 1968, 1978; and Contemporary Indian Painting, Royal Academy in London, 1982.

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His works are mainly abstracts replete with references and icons from Indian cosmology and its philosophy. In 1978, the Madhya Pradesh Government invited him to his native state for a homage; and an exhibition of his work was organised in Bhopal. He was elected Fellow of the Lalit Kala Akademi in 1983. In 1997, Raza was awarded the Madhya Pradesh Government’s prestigious Kalidas Samman. He was conferred with the Padma Shree Award in 1981, the Padma Bhushan in 2007, and Padma Vibhushan in 2013.

He passed away in July 2016, in Delhi.

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