The country’s second highest civilian honor, the Padma Vibhushan, has been conferred on SH Raza by the Government of India in recognition of his achievements in the field of art. Here are some key milestones and achievements in his illustrious career:
- One of the founders of the modern art movement in India, having co-founded the Progressive Artist’s Group in 1947 along with his contemporaries FN Souza, MF Husain and KH Ara, Raza sought to break free from the shackles imposed in Indian teaching system based on traditional Western ideals and techniques.
- Born in a forest village of Babaria in the state of Madhya Pradesh, where his father worked as a forest ranger, he first studied art in Nagpur (1939-43), and then at the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai (1946- 48). In 1950 he went to the Ecole National des Beaux-Arts in Paris (1950-53). All he wished initially was to see the artworks of van Gogh and Cézanne in the museums there, he has once revealed. He watched the opera, visited the ballet, and read Camus, Sartre, Rilke...
- The world-renowned artist has participated in various landmark exhibitions including the Venice Biennale; Sao Paulo Biennale; John Moore’s Exhibition, Liverpool; First Triennale, Delhi; Salon De Mai, Grand Palais; and Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan.
- Among his selected shows are a solo at The Arts Trust, Mumbai (2012); 'Bindu Vistaar', Grosvenor Gallery, London (2012); 'Punaragaman', Vadehra Art Gallery and LKA, Delhi (2010); ‘Raza Ceramiques’, Galerie Flora J, Paris (2011); Galerie Patrice Trigano, Paris (2010); a show at RL Fine Arts, New York (2010); a retrospective courtesy Saffronart with Berkeley Square Gallery ((2007); ‘Celebrating 85 Years of a Living Legend’, a traveling exhibit at Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, India courtesy Aryan Art Gallery, Delhi (2007); selected works at Peter Louis Gallery, Paris (2008);
- His other important shows include ‘Retrospective 1952-91’, Palais Carnles, Musee de Menton, France;’ Lanyon Gallery, Palo Alto, California (1962); Galerie Dresdnere, Montreal (1959-60, 1962-68); Jehangir Art gallery, Mumbai (1959); Galerie Lara Vincy, Paris (1958, 61, 62, 64, 1967, 69); and Charles Petras’s Institute of Foreign Languages, Mumbai (1950); among others. His works have featured in joint exhibitions with Husain (2009, ‘Spirit of India’) at Kings Road Galleries, London; and with Manish Pushkale (2009’ 'Shanti: A Scream for Peace') at Bugno Art Gallery, Venice, and in 2004 at Guild Art, Mumbai.