In the late 1970's, Raza's style of painting changed dramatically. He began to use the elemental form of the circle as a "starting point" in his work (see also the catalogue note for lot 276). In a strictly formal sense, Raza's style seems to bear some relation to the Abstract Expressionist work of Frank Stella and Jasper Johns. However, while these artist's were part of a theoretical discussion on the Formalist movment, Raza's work addresses a more spiritual context. The circle becomes less of a graphical component and more of a focal point representing concentrated energy. This concept has age-old precedents in meditative aids such as yantras and mandalas. The Kundalini is an awakening of dormant energy and its principle is manifested in painting as a pair of coiled snakes. It refers to the energy flowing in whirls at the base of the spine, whereby practicing asceticism, it ascends the body, eventually leading to enlightenment. The upper part of the work, which is brighter, suggests the ascending movement of the circle.