Acclaimed Modernist SH Raza’s works made in the last year-and-a-half are being exhibited in the city
At the age of 94, 'nirantar' is a loaded word. Incessant, persevering, endless — are English meanings that are evoked when you see the latest works by Indian Modernist, SH Raza. About 25 oils on canvas and paper works made by him in the last year-and-a-half are on display in 'Nirantar', a title that "typifies the essence of his being", as gallerist Sangeeta Raghavan puts it.
SH Raza at his studio in New Delhi
The works in this exhibition bear Raza's signature styles — geometry, an exuberance of colours, and a play with forms, such as his iconic 'bindu'. "The basic themes with spirituality, space and time continue in his works," says poet Ashok Vajpeyi, "but perhaps his visual language speaks more visibly now without constraints." What is more noticeable is that Raza remains unfazed by geography. Having lived in Paris for 60 years till the death of his wife Janine Mongillat, Raza moved to New Delhi, and his time is now divided between rest and working at the studio. "Even during his years in France, he engaged with Indian concepts. Coming to India was only a geographical change; he was always here in aesthetic."
Aseem (2015) by Raza
Visitors will also get a chance to pick up a new book, co-authored by critic and cultural theorist Ranjit Hoskote and Vajpeyi, on Raza's recent works. Hoskote writes, "At its deepest level, Raza's art is distinguished by a profoundly hymn-like quality: it is charged by the constancy of prayer. It is a form of enunciation that reaches into the heart of that vast silence in which all sound is absorbed and from which all sound emanates. This is the true meaning of the dark plenum-void, the bindu, which resides at the core of Raza's art." For a name that routinely fetches crores at auction houses, Raza is at his meditative best in Nirantar.
WHERE: Art Musings, 1 Admiralty Building, Colaba
WHEN: 11 AM – 7 PM, Till April 30