Syed Haider Raza
Award Name : Padma Vibhushan
Year of Award : 2013
Award for : Arts
Location : Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India
Syed Haider Raza Alias S.H. Raza is an Indian artist who has lived and worked in France since 1950, but maintains strong ties with India. He was born on 22 February 1922 in Madhya Pradesh. He 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 may 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 from 1950 to 1953.
Raza was one of the founders of the Progressive Artist's Group, along with K.H. Ara and F.N. Souza. After receiving a French Government Scholarship in 1950 he left for Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts, Paris. Raza was awarded the Prix de la Critique in Paris in 1956. In 1962 he served as a visiting lecturer at the University of California in Berkeley, USA. He has participated in numerous exhibitions, including the Sao Paulo Biennale in 1958, the Biennale de Menton, in France in 1966, 1968 and in 1978, and Contemporary Indian Painting, at the Royal Academy in London, in 1982. His works are mainly abstracts in oil or acrylic, with a very rich use of color, replete with icons from Indian cosmology as well as its philosophy. He was awarded the Padma Shri and Fellowship of the Lalit Kala Akademi in 1981, 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) on July 14, 2015.