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Painting - Monsoon in Bombay

Monsoon in Bombay

  • Object:

    Painting

  • Place of origin:

    Bombay (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1947 - ca. 1949 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Raza, Sayed Haider, born 1922 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour on paper

  • Museum number:

    IS.91-1987

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The artist has depicted Flora Fountain in the rain. The fountain is a famous sculptural landmark in southern Bombay.

Syed Haider Raza (1922) is one of the most important contemporary artists of India. He was an influential member of the Progressive Artists' Group (PAG). PAG was one of a number of Left-wing groups that were active in the 1930-40s Indian cultural scene. In this context, theatre professionals, writers and visual artists united under the 'progressive' banner and loosely endorsed Left-wing ideals to produce and circulate art together. PAG, founded in Bombay in 1947, included artists Francis Newton Souza, Krishnaji Howlaji Ara, Syed Haider Raza, Hari Ambadas Gade and Sadanand Bakre. PAG members rejected the nationalist art propounded by the Bengal School and embraced the Surrealist, Expressionist, Primitivist and Cubist styles of the international avant-gardes.

Raza was born in the village of Barbaria in Madhya Pradesh. In 1947, he joined PAG and developed a bold, colour-rich abstract style. In 1950 the artist won a French government scholarship and went to study painting at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Here, he continued experimenting with western modernist visual idioms moving away from Expressionism and developing an entirely abstract visual language.

Physical description

Painting, in watercolour on paper, depicting the Flora Fountain with surrounding buildings in central Bombay during the rainy season. The artist has applied the paint in a manner which makes the finished effect look hazy, as if the painting itself has been left out in the rain.

Place of Origin

Bombay (made)

Date

ca. 1947 - ca. 1949 (made)

Artist/maker

Raza, Sayed Haider, born 1922 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Signature in brush in lower right corner. The title of the work is written in ink on the reverse of the painting.

Dimensions

Height: 30 cm, Width: 42.2 cm

Object history note

Given by Mr K. Gandhi. RF: 87/1376

Descriptive line

Painting, Monsoon in Bombay, by Syed Haider Raza, watercolour on paper, Bombay, ca. 1947-1949

Production Note

Syed Haider Raza (1922) was an influential member of the Progressive Artists' Group (PAG). PAG was one of a number of Left-wing groups that were active in the 1930-40s Indian cultural scene. In this context, theatre professionals, writers and visual artists united under the 'progressive' banner and loosely endorsed Left-wing ideals to produce and circulate art together. PAG, founded in Bombay in 1947, included artists Francis Newton Souza, Krishnaji Howlaji Ara, Syed Haider Raza, Hari Ambadas Gade and Sadanand Bakre. PAG members rejected the nationalist art propounded by the Bengal School and embraced the Surrealist, Expressionist, Primitivist and Cubist styles of the international avant-gardes.

Raza was born in the village of Barbaria in Madhya Pradesh. In 1947, he joined PAG and developed a bold, colour-rich abstract style. In 1950 the artist won a French government scholarship and went to study painting at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Here, he continued experimenting with western modernist visual idioms moving away from Expressionism and developing an entirely abstract visual language.

During the late 1950s, he began to incorporate elements of Tantrism- an Asian philosophy that seeks to creatively appropriate the energy of the Godhead, creator and keeper of the universe- into his own work. This restulted in paintings that focused on the
circle or triangle as the souce of energy. Raza returned to India and travelled extensively, visiting the caves of Ajanta and Ellora and the towns of Benaras, Gujarat and Rajasthan. In 1956 he won the Prix de la Critique in Paris and in 1961 he joined the art department of the University of California in Berkeley. In 2000 Raza's work explored Indian literary themes, including the Mahabharata. The artist, whose work has been exhibited internationally, currently lives in Southern France.

Materials

Opaque watercolour; Paper; Paint

Techniques

Painted

Subjects depicted

Rain; Fountain; Buildings

Categories

Paintings; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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