The rise of legend and his dynamic urban insights of Mumbai

Traversing Terrains: a showcase of five decades of artistic expedition by S. H Raza

Posted on 12/06/2018 By

Since the death of legendry artist Sayed Haider Raza in 2016, a founder member of the Bombay Progressives, the first major exhibition of artist called S.H RAZA: TRAVERSING TERRAINS is organized by Piramal Museum of Art, a state-of-the-art museum with its primary space in Lower Parel, Peninsula Corporate Park, Mumbai, which is curated by Mr. Ashvin E Rajagopalan (Director) and Ms. Vaishnavi Ramanathan (Art Historian) at Piramal museum of art.

The rise of legend and his dynamic urban insights of Mumbai

S.H. Raza, Benares, 1944, watercolour on paper. Image courtesy_ Piramal Museum of Art

S.H. Raza’s diverse body of work is a unique amalgamation of his classical French training at École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and his exposure to post-war American abstract expressionism. Raza’s works are imbued with the Indian visual language of his heritage, celebrating the country’s iconography, nature, philosophy, music and poetry.

The exhibition traces his development as an artist and philosopher, whilst offering insights into his contributions to post-Independence Indian abstraction. The artworks on display highlight Raza’s significant influence on his peers, including the Bombay Progressives Group, and subsequent generations of Indian artists by taking a sweeping view of his rich artistic journey across continents, styles and philosophical musings.

The rise of legend and his dynamic urban insights of Mumbai

S.H. Raza, Siene Port, 1960, oil on canvas. Image courtesy_ Piramal Museum of Art

The S.H. Raza: Traversing Terrains exhibition also invites the viewer to discover the dynamic urban context in which Raza worked, and Mumbai’s role as an artistic melting pot for diverse ‘progressive’ energies, whilst also tracing Raza’s unique evolution as an artist.

“We thought it was important to present this exhibition not only because of the significance of Raza’s works but also because he arrived in the Indian art scene at a very critical juncture. Though he lived in France, his works were deeply rooted in India and are result of a life-long quest to get to the essence of the visible world around.”

The rise of legend and his dynamic urban insights of Mumbai

S.H. Raza, Trishna, 1976, acrylic on paper. Image courtesy_ Piramal Museum of Art

Vaishnavi Ramanathan – Curator, Art Historian, Piramal Museum of Art

“Piramal Museum of Art is focused on making art accessible to the public at large. We hope that the exhibition narrative and design, along with the accompanying public outreach programme will enable deeper engagement with one of the greatest artists India and the world has ever known.”

The rise of legend and his dynamic urban insights of Mumbai

S.H. Raza, Bindu Naad, 1995, acrylic on canvas. Image courtesy_ Piramal Museum of Art

Ashvin E Rajagopalan – Curator, Director, Piramal Museum of Art

Interactive displays, special programming and custom-designed lighting will offer diverse audiences unique opportunities to engage with the works. This one-of-a-kind exhibition is a compelling homage to Raza’s legacy allowing audiences to navigate an exhibition space that physically and aesthetically mimics the distinct visual language of the artworks. When viewed from above, the entire gallery space and installed exhibition appears as an innovative Raza painting.

Featuring works from the Piramal Art Collection, S.H. Raza: Traversing Terrains opens to the public from 24 June to 28 October 2018. Piramal Museum of Art has also curated a special series of programmes to complement the show, including outreach events for younger audiences, schools, and the public over the course of three months.

Venue: Piramal Museum of Art, Piramal Tower Peninsula Corporate Park Lower Parel Mumbai 400013

Press Preview Dates: Tuesday, 19 June 2018 | (by invitation only)

Event dates: 24th June to 28th October


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