Sign In

Lot Details

Signed and dated 'Ram Kumar 2016’ (on the reverse)

Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner

Remembering Ram Kumar: An Exhibition, Saffronart, New Delhi, 2-17 February 2019

Remembering Ram Kumar: An Exhibition, Exhibition Catalogue, Saffronart, New Delhi, 2019, pg. 95 (illustrated)

"At the end of the 1980s and the early 1990s, architectural forms insinuate their way into Ram Kumar’s works. His sketches of cities once again record and reveal his spontaneous reactions to their architectural peculiarities. Familiar forms such as domes and pillars are resurrected and cityscapes slowly emerge again. Surprisingly, elements from the landscapes, such as trees, insert themselves into the labyrinth of streets, offering relief with their bright flashes of green."

Cityscapes and nature reappeared again in his works instead of the desolate and predominantly grey pieces that he made after his visit to Benaras in the 60s and the continuing years after. Bright skies and colors reclaim their spaces once again after being consigned to the outer recesses of Kumar’s frame in his early works.

Here, showcasing the all too familiar visual language that Ram Kumar had painstakingly developed over the decades and retained in his paintings - the complex, multiple angles and perspectives, and the haphazard, lopsided buildings jostling for space - but without the looming greyness and the feeling of doom. The brightening of the palette and the use of lighter shades of browns and greens on the houses amply demonstrate the power of color in projecting mood and sentiment.

Text Reference:
Meera Menezes, Ram Kumar: Traversing the Landscape of the Mind, Saffronart, Mumbai, 2016, pg. 13

Ram Kumar

(1924 - 2018)
Born in Simla in 1924, Ram Kumar studied art while working on a Master’s degree in Economics from St. Stephens College, New Delhi. In 1949 he left for Paris to study painting under Andre Lhote and in 1950 he joined Atelier Fernand Leger, returning to India three years later. In 1970 he received the J. D. Rockefeller III Fund Fellowship. Since 1949, Ram Kumar has exhibited regularly in India and internationally. Some of his solo shows include those at Aicon Gallery, New York, in 2013; Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai in 2008; Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi in 2012, 2010-11, 09, 08, 06, 05, 03, 01, 00, 1993 and 92; Aicon Gallery, New York in 2013 and 2007, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai in 2005, 1999, 92, 90, 86, 84, 83, 78, 76, 73 and 71; Arks Gallery, London in 1997; and Grosvenor Gallery, London in 1966. In 2002, Saffronart and Pundole Art Gallery organized a show of his work in Mumbai, New Delhi, San Francisco and New York. Other retrospectives of his work have been held at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi in 1994 and 1993; Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai in 1993; and the Birla Museum, Kolkata in 1980. In 1972 the Government of India awarded him with the Padma Shri, one of its highest Civilian honors. The Madhya Pradesh State Government awarded him with the Kalidas Samman in 1985, and for his writing, he received the Uttar Pradesh State Government award in 1975. Ram Kumar lived and worked in New Delhi, till he passed away in April 2018.