RAZA Haider Sayed

Born in 1922, Sayed Haider Raza founded the Progressive Artists Group in Bombay in 1947. The group makes a break with traditional European art, which dictates forms in India to substitute the expression of the inner vision.

Sayed Haider Raza left for France in 1950 to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. There he distinguished himself so well that he became the first non-French artist to be awarded the Prix de la Critique in 1956 for his work (paintings, etches, lithographs). He married Janine Mongillat in 1959, then settled in Paris a few years later. From then on, he exhibited in galleries all over the world and at prestigious events such as the Venice and Sao Paulo biennials and the New Delhi triennial.

His art blends different influences from Europe and India. The recurring motifs of the black dot (the “bindu”) and the circle (the “mandala”) express a very spiritual relationship with nature and invite to a meditative contemplation of his work. He is one of India’s most highly rated artists: in 2010, the sale of one of his paintings at Christie’s, Saurashtra, brought in almost three million euros. In 2015, the French government named him Commander of the Legion of Honour.

The artist died in Delhi in July 2016 at the age of 94.