Mandla (MP): Legendary painter SH Raza was laid to rest at Madhya Pradesh's Binjhiya village on Sunday and was given a guard of honour by the Madhya Pradesh police.
The acclaimed painter, who depicted concepts like "bindu", "purush-prakriti" and "nari" in his instantly recognisable
geometric abstract works, passed away in New Delhi on Saturday after a prolonged illness.
His body was brought to his hometown from the capital earlier on Sunday and was taken to the Shia Masjid and then to the Shahre Khamoshan graveyard in a procession. Enroute, people paid their last respect to Raza, who had wished to be buried in this tribal-dominated district where he once lived.
Born in 1922 in Babaria in Mandla to a forest ranger father, Raza took to drawing at the age of 12. After high school, he enrolled at the Nagpur School of Art (1939–43), followed by the JJ School of Art in Mumbai (1943–47), before moving to Paris to study (1950-1953).
He was awarded the Padma Shri and Fellowship of Lalit Kala Akademi in 1981, the Padma Bhushan in 2007 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2013.
Raza, credited for popularising Indian concepts and iconography, had built a towering legacy of modern art. He lived most of his life in France, and was conferred the Commandeur de la Legion d'Honneur, the highest French honour for his artistic contribution, in 2015.
He was a co-founder of the Bombay Progressive Artists' Group together with greats like FN Souza, KH Ara, MF
Husain, HA Gade, SK Bakre and others.
His demise was mourned by a string of artists and connoisseurs of art. President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had both expressed grief over his death. In her message, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had described the artist's death as a huge loss for the world of art and the country.