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A Bindu[1], that’s all !
In 1958, three years after its opening, the Galerie Lara Vincy welcomed the first solo exhibition by Sayed Haider Raza, founder of the Progressive Artists' Group- PAG.  The artist shared with Lara Vincy a freedom of mind and a desire to de-compartementalize the art forms, which instantly included them among the vanguard. Conceived in 1947, a few months after the Partition of India and Pakistan, the PAG was chiefly made up of artists from Bombay, who had lived that event as an impulse to create a new form of art. Committed on an international level, they synthesized their original culture with the European and North- American culture of the first half of the 20th century, and their reflections were based on Post-Impressionism, Cubism and Expressionism.
Having obtained a grant from the French state in 1950, Sayed Haider Raza studied at the Beaux-Arts in Paris for three years and obtained, in 1956, the Critics’ prize. His work swiftly evolved toward a simplification because, if « in 1943, his landscapes had a cubist approach, [… a few years later], the colors were there, the structures were there, but they flew apart”[2]and were crystallized within a new symbolism. Then the artist developed a syncretism between nature and spirituality, Western culture and Oriental philosophy. If “the Bindu, the Great Black spot, is in fact the place from which was born the creation’s genesis, first the light, then the shapes and the colors, [… it] was also the vibrations, the energy, the sound, the space, the time”[3]. Bindus and mandalas provided his pictorial work with a quality and a visual strength, which led to a contemplative and transcendental meditation.
Accompanied by this strength and for his first inaugural exhibition since the loss of his mother, Liliane, Youri Vincy is offering a return towards the future, a leap in time that will not cease to amaze us, for on the opening evening, we will discover the gallery as his grandmother, Lara, had designed it: façade, furnishings and works will take us back to a gallery from the Fifties, radically facing the future. An exhibition-homage, which makes of this backward look, a great leap forward!
[1]The bindu is theexpression of a departure point, of an origin, that germ bears within it all the potentialities, creative energy, it expresses an outcome. It simultaneously signifies the seminal drop and the grain.

[2]Hugo Weihe, international director of Asian art at Christie’s, interview on the occasion of the sale on September 17, 2013, New York.

[3]Pierre Gaudibert, former director of the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris and of the Musée des arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie.

“ The most tenacious memory of my childhood is the fear and the fascination of the Indian forest. We lived close to the source of the Narmada River, in the middle of the densest forests of Madhaya Predesh. The nights were incredible when, sometimes, only the dances of the “Gonds” tribes humanized the atmosphere. The daytime brought about a feeling of security and of well-being. Under a radiant sun, the village was a very feast of colors on market days. And then the night came back.
I think that even today those two aspects of life maintain me and are an intrinsic part of my painting. There are endless variations, but the theme exists. It is a real-life feeling that is at the beginning, although the real problems are of a visual order. They exalt the initial feeling or destroy it. The operation occurs within the studio. The colored masses meet up, are formed or are distorted. There is a life, intrinsic to that movement, a vitality in the relationships and often a futility. It is necessary to carefully examine the experience and to take part in it. Sometimes, we reach that exaltation where everything is light. For the rest, it is awaiting, anguish, the perpetual passage between night and day .”
Raza (Text published in “Chefs d’œuvre de l’Art”, Editions Hachette, n°77, 2.9.64)
Translated in English by Ann Cremin
Sayed Haider RAZA, born in 1922 in Barbara, India.
- School of Arts, Nagour
- Sir JJ School of Arts, Bombay
- École nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris
Full biography on request