ARTIANA – Highlights – Lot 6 – Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art – Online Auction – No Buyer’s Premium – 13-17 June 2019

S.H. Raza (1922 – 2016) – Composition – 1974 – 16 x 10.5 in. (40.6 x 26.7 cm.) – Oil on canvas – Lot 6

Sayed Haider Raza had grown increasingly unhappy and restless with his own work by the start of the 1970s. The desire for a new direction and deeper authenticity in his work urged him to move away from plastic arts and study his Indian heritage in an in-depth manner. Starting from this period, he underwent a gradual transformation from an expressionist to a master of abstraction and profundity before arriving at the Bindu. 

Painted in 1974, a decade after Raza’s shift in style to find a purer form of abstraction, the current work is part of the culmination of this period of experimentation. He was no longer concern with the representational and began to communicate mood rather than images through his canvases. He skillfully used colors and gestural brushstrokes to convey warmth and lyrical messages rather than use direct representation to express emotions in the piece. Here, the composition is executed in loose brushstrokes, a departure from his previous style of semi-abstraction, and a precursor to his heavily structured geometric canvases. Albeit the change in stylistic and technical concerns, nature and its elements had remained the basis and inspiration to his art.

Auction Catalogue – South Asian Art – ‘Modern and Contemporary – 13-17 June 2019

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