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Signed, dated and inscribed 'Ram Kumar 08 / 3 x 2' (on the reverse)
Bearing Vadehra Art Gallery label (on the reverse)

Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

Ram Kumar is an essential part of the first generation of post-colonial Indian artists who decided to go against the grain of figuration and adopted a highly abstracted visual language. Having exhausted the possibilities of figuration in his earlier works, the artist no longer felt the need for symbolic expressionism and would banish figures from his compositions for several decades. Kumar said, "When an artist first learns to paint he does figurative art like painting the anatomy, still life as he must first follow a realistic pattern. Only after he finds his own path he creates other things. In my case, I moved on to the abstract." (as cited by Uma Prakash, Ram Kumar: Selected Works 1950-2010, Vadehra Art Gallery, 2010, p.9) Focusing on abstraction, he developed a visual language through the years that gave him the avenue to create and express freely through his art.

The hushed tranquility of the entire work does not overlook the joy in colors offered in the canvas. The work shows Kumar indulging in his passion for the shades of rust and ochre that dominates the composition while the texture accentuates the easy fluid motions of the artist's brush strokes. The astonishing play of color and texture in his abstract works displays his inner spirit which was quiet, meditative, and inventive, revealing an astute intellect and rare sensitivity.

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.