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Taking geometrical abstraction to unprecedented levels, every colour and shape in Raza's work bears significant meaning, relating to an element of nature or to part of the universal cycle of life and death. "Raza's work assumes a distinctly different meaning from the paintings of colour field vision and from hard-edged abstraction. In his canvases, geometrical forms are used to map the universe. Here, the vocabulary of pure plastic from acquires an integral purpose: to relate the shape and rhythm of these forms to Nature" (Geeti Sen, Bindu: Space and Time in Raza's Vision, Media Transasia Ltd, New Delhi, 1997, p. 118).
At the epicentre of many of these paintings is a dark, blank void. Emanating from this inner core the forms and shapes are like veins, energising and giving life to the painting. The viewer begins a visual journey outwards from this centre, a journey through the elements of life itself. Raza explains that at the heart of this unique visual language lie the five key symbols of fire and water, earth, wind and sky, brought together within a geometric framework that also contains signifiers of fertility and fruitfulness, all together underlining the inevitable interrelationship of the key components of the universe and the interconnections of our humble lives within it.
About Artistes indiens à ParisIn the mid-nineteenth century, Paris established itself as a Mecca of sorts for modern artists from all over the world. Following the Second World War and India’s independence, several Indian artists too travelled to Paris to soak in all they could of the art it offered and explore its cosmopolitan sophistication.
This collection of signed, limited edition serigraphs, lithographs and etchings showsthe diverse, creative practices of three Indian artists who spent a considerable time in Paris – S.H. Raza, SaktiBurman and Akkitham Narayanan. While Raza and Narayanan embraced abstract or non-objective idioms, Burman’s dreamscapes are populated by a host of figures, both real and mythical.
Together, these limited edition prints represent the ability of art to transcend geographic and cultural boundaries, and speak in a universal tongue.