With new paintings in his favoured motifs, S.H. Raza returns to Mumbai with a solo show after six years.
Art connoisseurs in Mumbai are in for a rare treat in the coming week with veteran artist S.H. Raza’s solo show Vistaar. Curator Sangeeta Chopra of Art Musings gallery says, “Raza is holding a solo exhibition in the city after six years. Mumbai is a city close to his heart, as this is where he began his artistic journey from the JJ School of Art to the Progressive Artists Group.” Vistaar features 25 new paintings with his favoured motifs: the Bindu, the kalpa vriksha or cosmic tree, and the kundalini. Also on display are the artist’s tribute to Bharat, his beloved country, and his homeland Madhya Desh and one work from each decade of his almost 70-year-career to give a glimpse into his rich repertoire.
The maestro’s work has elevated him to an iconic status in the art world. Sangeeta says, “Through his long illustrious career, Raza has dedicated himself to finding and exploring a unique pictorial language. His Bindu has become an icon. His art delves as much into an inner quest for personal growth as it explores the richness of spiritual treatises of philosophers and thinkers to articulate the intellectual undertones of his paintings. To Raza, painting is akin to the meditative practice of japa, the fully-engaged repetition of a mantra, until it is deepened and concentrated into a pathway of energy. His art lends itself to a quest for intensity.”
The preview will also see the release of a coffee-table book that documents Raza’s works. Vistaar: A Monograph offers an in-depth look at the life and career of the artist and includes over 100 reproductions of his work from the 1950s. The book seeks to guide readers through the evolution of his aesthetic. A collection of pages from Raza’s journals gives insights into his mind. An essay by Ranjit Hoskote delves into the conceptualisation of Raza’s paintings. Ashok Vajpeyi’s essay considers the nature of the artist’s journey; and Yashodhara Dalmia discusses Raza’s memories and personal histories in a conversation. Last but not least, the decades of Raza’s life are woven together in an in-depth analysis by Avni Doshi.
Vistaar: A solo exhibition of S.H. Raza’s works
Where: Jehangir Art Gallery; Art Musings
When: November 27 to December 3 and December 4 to January 5.