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Raza’s mandalas, pictorial figures replete with spirituality are accompanied in this book by texts from ancient and modern India, which have sometimes been correlated to Western thought. Olivier Germain-Thomas, a writer who has been familiar with the Indian context for long, presents this authoritative work and the artistic journey of its author.

S. H. Raza

In certain aspects, Raza’s work does resemble Western abstract art; at the same time it is also highly evocative of the colours and fundamental signs of Indian culture. The combinations of geometrical shapes which figure in his canvases from the eighties onwards constitute the contemporary metamorphosis of a highly ancient Indian tradition, that of the mandalas whose symbolism spread with the advent of Buddhism in the whole of Asia. These colourful architectural pieces with a rare sense of power are sheer invitations to meditation, and to the awakening of the secret stream of energy which is present in all beings.

Mandalas

Sayed Haider Raza occupies a singular place on the international art scene since a long time; thanks to his childhood and his initial training, this great Indian painter whose works have been exhibited all over the world belongs undeniably to his country of birth; owing to the fifty odd years that he has spent in Paris, the circle of his friends, his marriage to a French artist, he is from France-- from the Paris school so to say-- which is known to welcome creative persons from the four corners of the world.

S. H. Raza

Texts by Olivier Germain-Thomas

Mandalas


- My Lord Buddha, isn’t half of ascetic life friendship with that which is beautiful, association with that which is beautiful, communion with that which is beautiful? - No, Ananda, answered the Buddha, it is not half of ascetic life, it is the whole of it. Samyutta Nikaya

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As the name indicates, the kundalini, ‘the ringed one’ of the sinuous body is comparable to the serpent when it lies “coiled” and dormant in the body. The serpent which is rendered formidable by its poison symbolizes all the evil forces, so too, so long as the kundalini lies inert within us, it corresponds to our unconscious, obscure energies, which are at the same time poisoned and poisoning. On the contrary, when aroused and mastered, these same energies become efficient and confer a veritable power. Lilian Silburn

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Art does not reproduce what is visible; it makes things visible. Paul Klee

The work of the mind proceeds from the work of the flesh and shares its nature. Rainer Maria Rilke

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What Speech (Vacha) says: “Father, it is I who give birth to it right at the top of the Empyree; I who was born in the depths of the Waters in the Ocean of the origins, I have penetrated all the beings from this world till the other one. I am akin to the Wind which blows and takes all that it wants; I move forward with it, I travel through the Sky and the Earth, I fill them, I spread beyond them, by My power and My grandeur!� Rig Veda

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I am the saviour in the waters, Arjuna, I am the light of the sun and the moon, In the Vedas I am the mantra Aum, I am the sound in the ether and I am the vitality in man. I am the sacred fragrance of the earth and I am the radiance in the fire, I am the life in all that exists, I am the ardour within ascetics. Of all that is, I am the seed, know it, Arjuna, the timeless seed. I am the clairvoyance within sages, I am the glory of heroes, I am the power of the strong, a force liberated from desire and passion. In all things I am the desire in harmony with the cosmic order, O Arjuna. Words of Krishna, Bhagvad Gita

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... Creating a suggestive magic containing at once the object and the subject, the world external to the artist and the artist himself. Charles Baudelaire

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When we study the religions of yesteryears, we encounter, in almost all of them, worship offered to trees held by them to be sacred, and singularly to the most venerated of them all, the Cosmic Tree. This constituted the central pillar, the axis around which was organized the universe, the natural and supernatural, physical as well as the metaphysical one. In mythology, as it is set out usually, we can still discover a highly archaic base, in which trees were the privileged agents for communication between the three worlds, the subterranean abysses, the surface of the earth and the sky, and also constituted the manifestations par excellence of the divine presence. Jacques Brosse

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It is because I am present in my material energy that I am able, once again and endlessly, to make the totality of these innumerable forms arise, solely through the energy of this energy. Bhagvad Gita

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You take shape, I am endlessly reborn: both of us in the pursuit of union. My joy, your body, your delights, my presence. I give you a face, you make me infinite. Both of us, a single body. A new being is born, the You-me, the me-You. Between us no more difference, me You, You Tuka. The Pilgrim’s Psalms, Tukaram

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Mandalas By Olivier Germain-Thomas  

Art Alive Gallery has collaborated with French publishers Albin Michel, Paris to bring out an English version of the French publication Mand...

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