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Lot Details

signed and dated 'Ram Kumar 1997' (on the reverse)

Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai
Acquired from the above by the present owner.

A persistent quality in Ram Kumar’s approach to art is its quest for ‘purity’. The indefinable aspect of the landscape in contrast with the definiteness of the human form is the idiom in which Ram Kumar explores his understanding of the pure - the pure being, untamed, of-the-moment and uncultivated. It is interesting to note that the artist has been deeply influenced by the aesthetics of Hindustani music, which is in essence a creature of the artist's instinct. Ram Kumar’s art similarly manifests this quality - the abstract landscape allowed him to shed the restrictions of a structure and walk in the spontaneity of things.

Having grown up in the scenic environment of the lower-Himalaya’s, Ram Kumar’s emphasis on the landscape can also be attributed to a sense of nostalgia. The silent expanse of nature certainly appealed to the artist, to the extent that it provided a deep source of inspiration for his works.

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.