Born in Babaria (MP) on February 22, 1922, Syed Haider Raza studied painting in the Nagpur School of Art and the J. J. School of Art, Bombay. A founder member of the Progressive Artists Group, he presented several exhibitions of his paintings in India before leaving for France on a French government scholarship in 1950. Raza studied painting at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1950 to 1953.
S H Raza was awarded the Prix de la Critique in Paris, in 1956. He has had numerous individual exhibitions of his paintings and has participated in group shows and salons, including the International Biennales at Venice, Sao Paolo and Menton, and in the Triennale at New Delhi. In 1959 he married the French artist Janine Mongillat. Three years later, in 1962, he visited the University of California at Berkeley as a visiting lecturer in the art department. He revisited India several times between 1959 and 1985. Since then he has visited India every year to establish a tangible relationship with Indian concepts, contemporary art and life. His recent shows include – Rang Raas and Shanti at the Tao Art Gallery. Besides these he has been a part of prestigious shows like Power of Peace, Indiart Show at Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo in 2007, his works have also been exhibited at Tate Modern art Gallery and House of Lords, London in 2007.
In December 1978, the government of Madhya Pradesh invited him to his native state for homage and an exhibition of his works in Bhopal. S.H.Raza was awarded the Padma Shri by the President of India in 1981, and was elected a Fellow of the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, in 1983. Since then he has received the Kalidas Samman from the government of Madhya Pradesh and a retrospective of his paintings has been presented at the Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal. S.H. Raza passed away on 23 July 2016 in New Delhi, India.