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Lot Details

Signed and dated 'Ram Kumar 04' (on the reverse)

Saffronart / Lot 33 / Auction December 2005 / 6-8 December 2005

Ram Kumar’s fondness for hilly ranges, rivers, lakes, trees and the open sky is well-known and all these have their presence, not symbolically but characteristically in both his drawings and paintings. Indeed they get ‘abstracted’ in his art but nevertheless they are there in many forms with the essence of their ‘character’ bringing a kind of ‘realism’ to them. It is in this sense that his abstract ‘landscapes’ are never devoid of an earthiness, and the elements from nature to be seen and felt are mirrored in them. The surging strokes, the palette knife with layers of pigment fills the canvas with somber hues. […] These are soothing, comforting works—intimate to the core. (Prayag Shukla, Ram Kumar: Lines and Colours, Aakriti Art Gallery Pvt. Ltd., Kolkata, 2016, pg.10)

The poetic line and use of space is elevating in this example of the artist's work, affirming the harmony between the mountains, the sea, and the greenery. "Stripped of sentiment and freed from the burden of description, the landscapes have an inner voice that is waiting to be heard. The meditative nature has not been achieved by accident; rather it is a result of long contemplation." (Uma Prakash, Ram Kumar: Selected Works 1950-2010, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, 2010, pg.11)

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.