Madhya Pradesh, India
Syed Haider Raza was born 1922 in Babaria, Madhya Pradesh. Raza was the best-known Indian artist of the twentieth century and a founding member of ‘The Progressive Artist Group of Bombay.’ Syed Haider Raza's style evolved over the years - he began with expressionist landscapes, which became rigid, geometric representations of French towns and villages in the early 1950s, following his move to Paris. Later, the lines blurred and colour began to dominate. His theme was still landscape but it was now non-representational. In the late 1970s the artist's focus turned to pure geometrical forms, his images were improvisations on an essential theme, that of the mapping out of a metaphorical space in the mind. In the 1980s, the circle or "Bindu" became the central motif. Sacred in its symbolism, it placed his work in an Indian context. He was awarded the Prix de la critique in Paris in 1956 becoming the first non-French artist to receive the honour. He also received the Padma Shri in 1981, the Padma Bhushan in 2007 and Padma Vibhushan in 2013. He was conferred with the highest French civilian honour, the Commandeur de la Legion d’honneur (Legion of Honour) in 2015. He passed way in 2016.