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    Sale 11512

    South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art

    26 May 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 67

    SYED HAIDER RAZA (B. 1922)

    Germination - Fertilité

    Estimate

    SYED HAIDER RAZA (B. 1922)
    Germination - Fertilité
    signed ‘Raza’ seven times, titled, inscribed and dated ‘”Germination”/”Fertilite”
    100 x 100 cms / 1990 / Acrylique sur toile / Earth – Water – seed and Plant
    4 toiles – 50 x 50 cms – 100 x 100 cms / “GERMINATION” ”Fertilite”
    1980-1990 / 50 x 50 cms’; further bearing two artist labels (on the reverse)
    Painted in 1980-1990
    acrylic on canvas; polyptych
    19 5/8 x 19 5/8 in. (50 x 50 cm.) each; 39 3/8 x 39 3/8 in. (100 x 100 cm.) overall


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    The concept of ankuran or germination, which forms the focal point of this meditative work, is a seminal trope in Raza’s work. The inspiration for this iconography came from the miracle of witnessing the birth of a new sapling. For Raza, this simple act embodied the process of creation and the emergence of new life on Earth. “It is the resurgent spirit of rebirth, of the fertilizing powers of the sun and the earth which converge to give birth to new life.” (G. Sen, Bindu: Space and Time in Raza's Vision, New Delhi, 1997, p. 19)

    Painted in 1990, this canvas represents the culmination of Raza’s exploration of the power of pure form and primary colours in his practice. Moving away from traditional representation, the artist captures the universal elements of Nature as a visual diagram. Using a completely symbolic idiom, Raza uses specific colours and shapes to signify natural phenomena and different phases of the eternal cycle of life. Here, an aqueous palette of blue and green represents the generative power of nature through the element jala or water. The series of inverted triangles at the upper right symbolise the fertility and germination, alluding to the tree of life and prakriti, or the universal feminine force that balances purush, the male force. The black orb or bindu at the upper right pulsates with concentrated energy, and can be variously interpreted as zero, a void or a seed - expressing both genesis and the ultimate end of all that is created.

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    Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist, 1990
    Private collection, Paris
    Private collection, London
    Acquired from the above