S.H. Raza: Sketching Silence: D-40 Defence Colony, New Delhi

16 October - 9 November 2021

The 89 drawings on view can compete with Raza’s paintings for attention precisely because they are disconcertingly apposite to anything that one may expect. They impress with the potency that they bear, possibly as the only living forms from the natural world that are created in Raza’s vast oeuvre of non- representational paintings. Several of the drawings however surprise with their simplicity and directness. His drawings have little of the interior, preoccupied as he is with the vast exterior spaces: some coloured drawings revealing dense, detailed depictions of a vil- lage or town, possibly Gorbio, with its distinctive church spire. Even as these drawings lull us into complacency with their easy recognition, a deep and persistent vein of existential contemplation runs through the work. Raza’s deeply personal quest for an ideal state of consciousness deter- mined not only his aesthetic choices but also his engagements with the pulse of Indian existential thought.