Raza expresses the mystery of the soil, like Pollock. In the early 1970s he dares to address the dangers of the night. On March 21 in New York, Christie's sells as lot 222 Tapovan, acrylic on canvas 160 x 189 cm painted in 1972.
Tapovan is a Sanskrit word used in yoga, mixing the ideas of meditation and forest. Glowing red areas and bright yellow sparks dot the night scene. A careful inspection suggests the appearance of faces within flames and embers, not without evoking the expressive schematization of his fellow F.N. Souza.
If this interpretation is correct, it is exceptionally rare in Raza's usually dehumanized art and brings Tapovan closer to the primordial questions of the wild tribes and of Gauguin : D'où venons-nous ? Qui sommes-nous ? Où allons-nous ? And also : who are these spirits of the night ?
La Terre, acrylic on canvas 189 x 189 cm painted in the following year, is also an explosion of lights in the night but nearer to full abstraction. It was sold for $ 3.1M including premium by Christie's on March 18, 2014.
Raza will soon find an answer to this anxiety. An admirer of Rothko, he will systematize the inclusion of his abstract forms into a structure which in his case begins as a window. He abandons the night but not the ground and gives in the later phases of his career the main role to the essential form, the bindu.
Tapovan had been sold for $ 1.47M including premium by Sotheby's on March 29, 2006.
SOLD for $ 4.45M including premium