France-based Indian artist Sayed Haider Raza passed away on Saturday. 94-year-old S H Raza left his last breath in Delhi after a prolonged illness. Whole artistic fraternity across the world is in shock. Raza is suffering from old age syndrome and was in Intensive Care Unit for a couple of months.
Raza made his mark among international painters with his innovative use of colour and oil paints. His works speak more than words where it leads to a great philosophy. Being famous for his modern style, he explored circle and dots in many ways. In fact, he is the first one to introduce zero to the canvas.
Indian government honoured Raza with Padma Shri in 1981, Padma Bhushan in 2007, Padma Vibhushan in 2013. His significant work ‘Saurashtra’ was noted as one of the most expensive Craft ship, which was sold for Rs.16.42 crore at christie’s closeout.
Raza was born in 1922 to a middle-class family to Sayed Mohammad Razi and Tahira Begum in Babaria, Mandla area, Madhya Pradesh. Artist spent initial years at Mandla and started learning drawing at the age of 12. He completed his schooling in government high school Damoh. Later, he pursued his further at Nagpur school of Art, and Nagpur followed by Sir J.J school of Art, Bombay.
The legendary artist then moved to the institution of École Nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, France in 1950 with the sponsorship provided by the French government. He travelled around Europe and settled in Paris where he lived for six decades. He returned to India in 2010 after his semi-retirement.
The Internationally acclaimed painter was elected as the Fellow of Lalitha Kala Academy in 1983. Raza was awarded ‘Commandeur de la Legion d’honour’ (Legion of Honour) from the European nation. This can be considered as the sheer respect an artist could be offered by the European country.
He is one of the founders of the Bombay Progressive Artists Group (PAG) and also started Raza Foundation to award young talent in art, poetry, music and dance. His last rites will be held in Mandala in Madhya Pradesh, as indicated by his desires.