• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1975

    South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art

    20 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 64

    SYED HAIDER RAZA (B. 1922)


    Price Realised  


    SYED HAIDER RAZA (B. 1922)
    signed and dated 'Raza '77' (bottom centre); signed, dated and titled 'Sourya' (on the reverse)
    acrylic on canvas
    39¼ x 39¼ in. (100 x 100 cm.)
    Painted in 1977

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    In the late 1970's, Syed Haider Raza's style of painting changed dramatically. Moving away from figuration and the fluid energetic brushstrokes which characterized his work, Raza began to use the elemental form of the circle as a compositional starting point. In a strictly formal sense, these geometrical works seems to bear some resemblance to the Abstract Expressionist paintings of Frank Stella and Jasper Johns. However, while these artists were part of a theoretical discussion on the Formalist movement, Raza's work addresses a more spiritual context. The circle becomes less of a graphical component and more of a central point representing concentrated energy. This circle manifests itself in various forms throughout Raza's more recent work and is variously interpreted as zero or seed. Formally, it becomes the principle around which Raza structures his canvases with this compositional construct having age-old precedents in meditative aids such as yantras and mandalas.
    In Raza's more typical Sourya themed works Raza presents an arrangement of shapes and earthly colors which evolve from dark to light, following the natural sequence of night into day. However in this Sourya Raza has taken a departure by utilizing vibrant red, electric blue, black, ochres and white while maintaining harmony in the use of simple geometry and pure color.

    Pre-Lot Text