S H Raza


Syed Haider Raza is also popularly known as S.H. Raza and was born on 22 February in the year 1922. He is one of the Indian artists who has lived and worked in France since 1950. Staying abroad has not helped him to stretch the chord from his traditional Indian roots. Syed Haider Raza was born in Barbaria. 

Syed Haider Raza was born in Babaria in Mandla district at Madhya Pradesh. His parents were Sayed Mohammed Razi and Tahira Begum. Since his childhood he was very fond of art and paintings and he has spent most of his childhood years in drawing different stuffs. He started painting seriously at the age of 13 when he moved to Damoh in Madhya Pradesh. At Damoh he has completed his schooling or the formal education from the Government High School.

Education & Work

After completion of his high school, Raza continued with his studding from the Nagpur School of Art, Nagpur, during the years 1939–43. His education continued with the institution named Sir J. J. School of Art in Bombay during the years 1943–47.

After his completion of studies, he decided to move to France in October 1950. There he studies at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSB-A) in Paris during the years 1950-1953. He got Govt. of France scholarship and after he finished with his studies he has travelled almost every place in Europe and started exhibiting his art works in Paris. He was awarded with the Prix de la critique in Paris in 1956. He was the first non-French artist to have bagged this prestigious honor.

Most of his paintings are mainly on abstracts in oil or acrylic. He is one of the artists who used rich colors and highlight several issues and philosophies with paintings. The painter’s first solo art exhibition was held in the year 1946 at the Bombay Art Society Salon. He received several awards throughout his lifetime. Several paintings by Raza have depicted the Indian and foreign landscapes and he has also portrayed several abstract paintings as well. The most popular water colors of landscapes and townscapes have been executed in early 40's then at later stage in his career he has moved towards expressing language of different landscapes.

In the year 1947, he co-founded the revolutionary Bombay Progressive Artists' Group. He co-founded the organization or the group with prominent artists like K.H. Ara and F.N. Souza. Here, he has depicted the influences of European realism in Indian art. He has also abled to showcase the Indian inner vision or Antargyan through his arts.

When he was in France he continued experimenting with the theme of Western Modernism. His works during 1940’s and 50’s have showcased his experiences of moving to France and how he has experienced the culture change.

In the year 1980, his paintings have been showcased at Galleriet in Oslo. He participated for the exhibition at Gallery Loeb, Bern, Switzerland; Gallery JY Noblet, Grenoble in the year 1982. In the year 1984, while he was touring in India, he participated in the exhibition at Chemould Gallery in Bombay. In Paris during the year 1985, he showcased his works at Galerie Pierre Parat in Paris. Raza has worked as the head of the artist at Grenoble. In the year 1991, Raza has exhibited his paintings at Museum of Menton in France. In the same year He has also participated at Cannes Retrospective at Gallery Eterso. In the year 1992, he attended in the Courses Art Lalouvesc in France and also has participated for the exhibition at Jehangir Nicholson Museum, National Centre for Performing Arts in Mumbai. In the year 1994, he was associated with The Art Rental Corporate, Group Michael Ferrier, Échirolles, Grenoble. It was year 1997, when he has showcased his exhibitions at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi. In his career he was participated at View Exhibition Magnificent Seven at The Art Alive Gallery.  In the year 2008 he showcased his creation at Art Alive Gallery in Delhi, India. In the year 2010, he has showcased his creations at Akar Prakar Art Gallery in Kolkata, Ahmadabad, Jaipur in India and also exhibited his creations at Flora Jansem Gallery, RazaCeramiques, Paris.

Awards and Accolades

He was awarded the Padma Shri and Fellowship of the Lalit Kala Akademi in 1981, Padma Bhushan in 2007, and Padma Vibhushan in 2013. Along with these he has bagged several awards in his entire career.

  • 1946: Silver Medal, Bombay Art Society, Mumbai
  • 1948: Gold Medal, Bombay Art Society, Mumbai
  • 1956: Prix de la critique, Paris
  • 1981:Kalidas Samman, Government of Madhya Pradesh
  • 2013: one of the greatest living global Indian legends ... NDTV INDIA

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