Sayed Haider Raza studied painting at the Nagpur School of Art and the Sir J. J. School of Art. A founder member of the Progressive Artists’ Group Raza participated actively in the Group’s activities, stimulated many discussions in the early struggle to develop a modernist language and presented several exhibitions of his paintings in India before leaving for France on a French Government scholarship in 1950.
In Paris he studied painting at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts for 3-4 years. Awarded the Prix de la Critique in Paris in 1956, Raza has held numerous exhibitions both in India and abroad. He has participated in the Venice, Sao Paulo and Menton Biennales. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1981. A strong colourist Raza’s painting resonates the passionate hot colours of India with all their symbolic, emotive value.
After having spent much of his life in Paris and Gorbio, France, Raza died in July 2016 at New Delhi, India. Raza artworks are in the collection at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, the San Jose Museum of Art, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, and the National Gallery of Art in New Delhi, among others.