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More About "Ram Kumar" Artist

Artist : Ram Kumar(Masters)


About Artist View Artworks of Ram Kumar Back to Artist

He is one of those artists whose work is difficult to be placed, rather frozen within the simplistic narratives that have developed around modern Indian art. Although Ram Kumar, much like many other artists from the subcontinent who studied in Paris in the 1950’s, returned from Europe with a semi figurative style that drew on post-cubism, he eventually chose to abandon the same to begin working almost exclusively with the motifs of abstract cityscapes and landscapes.

 

Born in 1924 in Simla, Ram Kumar was among India’s leading modernists. He studied Economics at St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi, in 1946. Following this, he went to Paris to study painting under Andre Lhote and Fernard Leger in 1949-1952.

 

When he was studying Economics at St Stephens College, young Ram Kumar would often visit the art exhibitions in the galleries around the Mandi House area during lunch breaks. As these visits became more frequent, he realised his passion for art was not just restricted to appreciating art but practicing the form himself.

 

Kumar begin by studying art at Sarada Ukil School of Art in New Delhi. Then, fate took over and the talented young artist soon found his way to Paris to study painting. It was in Paris that he began to produce his early figurative works that marked his obsession with the human form, especially the face.

 

On his return to India, he became friends with the art critic Richard Bartholomew and began to regularly exhibit with the Delhi Silpi Chakra, thus becoming one of India’s emerging young painters by the mid-fifties. He received the National Award in 1956 and 1958 and was awarded the Padma Shri by the Indian government in 1971. Ram Kumar was also a prolific Hindi writer.

 

A turning point in his art career came in 1960 when Ram Kumar visited Varanasi with M.F. Hussain in 1960. This led to a significant change in his style. Dark colours were abandoned, and blues, greys and tawny yellows took over. The widows of Banaras, the sorrow of humanity and the eternal echo of the life cycle of death and birth inspired Ram Kumar’s work in a new direction and thus begin the journey of looking inwards through landscapes.

 

Like several first-generation post-colonial artists such as F.N. Souza, S.H. Raza and Paritosh Sen, Ram Kumar combined a desire for global success with a strong need to belong to his homeland. His landscapes are devoid of the usual constituents of reality. The land, trees, sky and water are not portrayed in their natural forms but rather are strongly suggestive of abstract landscapes.

The artist passed away in April 2018.

 

 

Education

  1949-52 Studied Painting under Andre Lhote and Fernard Leger, Paris

  1946 M. A. in Economics from the St. Stephens College, Delhi University, New Delhi

 1945 Sharada Ukil School of Art, New Delhi

 

Selected Solo Exhibitions

  2016 'Ram Kumar: Traversing the Landscapes of the Mind', Saffronart, New Delhi

  2014 'Ramkumar Drawings from the 60's', Aakriti Art Gallery, Kolkata, New Delhi

  2013 'Ram Kumar and the Bombay Progressives: The Form and the Figure Part I', Aicon Gallery, New York

  2012 'Drawings', Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2011 'Ram Kumar: A Retrospective', Aicon Gallery, London

  2011 Chawla Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2010-11 'Selected Works: 1949 -2010', presented by Vadehra Art Gallery at Rabindra Bhavan, Lalit Kala Akademi; Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2010 'Ram Kumar: A Retrospective', Aicon Gallery, New York

  2009 Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2008 ‘Homage to Kekoo Gandhy’, Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai

  2008 Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2007 ‘Reflective Landscapes’, Aicon Gallery, New York

  2006 Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2005 Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2005 Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2003 Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2002 Saffronart and Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai, New Delhi, San Fransico, New York

  2001 Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2000 Landscapes from New Zealand, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  1999 Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1998 A Gallery, New York

  1997 Arks Gallery, London

  1997 Amdavad Ni Gufa, Ahmedabad

  1996 ‘Pages From a Sketch Book’, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1996 ‘Ram Kumar – A Journey Within’, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  1993 Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  1992 Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  1992 Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1991 Chitrakoot Gallery, Kolkata

 1990 Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1990 Center for Contemporary Art, New Delhi

  1988 Works on Paper, Alliance Francaise, New Delhi

  1986 Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1984 Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1983 Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1983 Sarla Art Centre, Chennai

  1983 Works on Paper, Miskole, Hungary

  1981 Works on Paper, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1980 Art Heritage, New Delhi

  1979 Chanakya Gallery, New Delhi

  1978 Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1977 Chanakya Gallery, New Delhi

  1976 Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1974 Gallery Chemould, Mumbai

  1973 Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1971 Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1968 Dhoomimal Art Gallery, New Delhi

  1966 Gallery Chemould, Mumbai

  1966 Grosvenor Gallery, London

  1965 Kunika Art Center, New Delhi

  1964 Gallery Chemould, Mumbai

  1963 Kunika Art Center, New Delhi

  1960 Wax and Ink on paper after first visit to Benaras, Kumar Gallery, New Delhi

  1959 Kumar Gallery, New Delhi

  1958 Warsaw and Krakow

  1957 Alliance Francaise, New Delhi

  1953 Alliance Francaise, Mumbai

  1949 Y.M.C.A. Hall, Simla

 

Selected Group Exhibitions

  2014 'Immutable Gaze Part I: Masterpieces of Modern and Pre-Modern Indian Art', Aicon Gallery, New York

  2013 'Pioneers of Modernism', Sovereign FZE, Dubai

  2013 'Ideas of the Sublime', presented by Vadehra Art Gallery at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi

  2013 'Nothing is Absolute: A Journey through Abstraction', The Jehangir Nicholson Gallery at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai

  2013 'The Discerning Eye: Modern Masters', Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2012 'Iconic Processions', Aicon Gallery, New York

  2012 'Gallery Collection', Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2012 'Aqua', Gallery Beyond, Mumbai

  2012 'Contemporary: A Selection of Modern and Contemporary Art', prsented by Sakshi Gallery at The Park, Chennai

  2012 'Through the Ages: South Asian Sculpture and Painting from Antiquity to Modernism', Aicon Gallery, New York

  2012 'Sightings', Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai

  2011-12 'Reprise 2011', Aicon Gallery, New York

  2011 'Modern Masters', Aicon Gallery, New York

  2011 'POP: Progressives on Paper', Aicon Gallery, New York

  2011 'Anecdotes', Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai

  2011 'Masterclass', Dhoomimal Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2010 'Paper Trails', Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2010 'The Progressives & Associates', Grosvenor Gallery, London

  2010 'From Miniature to Modern: Traditions in Transition', Rob Dean Art, London in association with Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2010 'Master Class', The Arts Trust, Mumbai

  2009 'Indian Art After Independence: Selected Works from the Collections of Virginia & Ravi Akhoury and Shelley & Donald Rubin', Emily Lowe Gallery, Hempstead

  2009 'Progressive to Altermodern: 62 Years of Indian Modern Art', Grosvenor Gallery, London

  2009 'Tracing Time', Bodhi Art, Mumbai

  2009 'Moderns and More', Aicon Gallery, Palo Alto

  2008 'Modern and Contemporary Indian Art', Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2008 'Post Independence Masters', Aicon Gallery, New York

  2008 ‘Freedom 2008 – Sixty Years of Indian Independence’, Centre for International Modern Art (CIMA), Kolkata

  2006 ‘Shadow Lines’, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2006 ‘Moderns Revisited’, Grosvenor Vadehra, London

  2005 Ashta Nayak: Eight Pioneers of Indian Art', Aicon Gallery, New York

  2004 ‘Concept and Form’, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2001 ‘Ashta Nayak’, Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2001 ‘Modern Indian Art’, organized by Saffronart and Pundole Art Gallery, Metropolitan Pavilion, New York

  1997 ‘Image-Beyond Image’, a Traveling Exhibition of Works from the Glenbarra Art Museum, Japan, at New Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore and Mumbai

  1996 ‘The Moderns’, National Gallery Of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai

  1991 ‘Remembering Kali Pundole’, Joint Exhibition with M. F. Husain, V. S. Gaitonde, Akbar Padamsee and Krishen Khanna, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1988 ‘Three Indian Artists’, Karachi, Pakistan

  1971 Ten Indian Artists, a traveling exhibition in U. S. A.

  1958 Eight Indian Artists, Graham Gallery, New York

  1958 Seven Indian Painters in Europe, Gallery One, London

  1958 Graphic exhibition with M. F. Husain, Tyeb Mehta and V. S. Gaitonde, Mumbai

  1952 Delhi Shilpi Chakra, New Delhi

Retrospective Exhibitions

 

  1994 National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Jehangir Art Gallery (Traveling Exhibition), organized by Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  1993 From 1949-93 at National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), New Delhi, organized by Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  1986 From 1953-86 at Art Heritage, New Delhi organized by Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1986 Museum of Contemporary Art, Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal

  1985 Art Heritage, New Delhi

  1980 From 1953-80, Birla Museum, Kolkata

 

Selected Joint Exhibitions

  2012 'Eternal Landscapes', with Paresh Maity presented by ICIA at The Arts Trust, Mumbai

  1995 With Jogen Chowdhury, Gallery Raku, Japan <

  1967 With M. F. Husain, Geeta Gallery, New Delhi

  1967 With M. F. Husain, Prague

Participations

  2015 'Abby Grey and Indian Modernism: Selections from the NYU Art Collection', Grey Art Gallery, New York University, New York

  2014 'Ode to Monumental: Celebration, Visuality, Ideology', presented by Saffronart at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi and Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2012-13 'Radical Terrain: Modernist Art from India', Rubin Museum of Art, New York

  2012 'Art for Humanity', Coomaraswamy Hall, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai

  2012 'Modernist Art from India: Approaching Abstraction', Rubin Museum of Art, New York

  2012 'Crossings: Time Unfolded, Part 2', Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), New Delhi

  2011 'Ethos V: Indian Art Through the Lens of History (1900 to 1980), Indigo Blue Art, Singapore

  2011 ‘Manifestations VI', Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi

 2011 'Roots in the Air, Branches Below: Modern & Contemporary Art from India', San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose

  2011 'Time Unfolded', Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), New Delhi

  2011 'Celebrations 2011', Kumar Gallery, New Delhi

  2010 'Manifestations IV', Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2010 'Art Celebrates 2010: Sports and the City', represented by Vadehra Art Gallery at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi to coincide with the hosting of the Commonwealth Games

  2010 'Evolve: 10th Anniversary Show', Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2010 Annual Exhibition, Chawla Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2010 'Celebration 2010', Annual Exhibition, Kumar Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2008-09 'Paz Mandala', Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi

  2008-09 ‘Expanding Horizons: Contemporary Indian Art’, Traveling Exhibition presented by Bodhi Art at Ravinder Natya Mandir, P.L.Despande Kala Academy Art Gallery, Mumbai; Sant Dyaneshwar Natya Sankul Art Gallery, Amravati; Platinum Jubilee Hall, Nagpur; Tapadia Natya Mandir Sports Hall, Aurangabad; Hirachand Nemchand Vachanalay’s, Solapur; Acharya Vidyanand Sanskrutik Bhavan, Kolhapur; PGSR Sabhagriha, SNDT, Pune; Sarvajanik Vachanalaya Hall, Nasik

  2008 'Moderns', Royal Cultural Centre, Amman, Jordan organized by Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi in collaboration with Embassy of India, Amman, Jordan

 1987 Coups de Coeur, Geneva

  1985 Artistes Indien en France, Nationale des Arts Plastiques, Paris, Festival of India in France

  1982 The Gesture and Motif, Festival of India in U. K., Royal Academy of Arts, London

  1980 Contemporary Asian Artists, Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan

  1979 Sao Paolo Biennale

  1973 Contemporary Indian Art, a traveling exhibition U. S. A.

  1959 Sao Paolo Biennale

  1959 Tokyo Biennale, Japan

  1958 Venice Biennale, Italy

  1957 Tokyo Biennale, Japan

 

Honours and Awards

 

  2010 Padma Bhushan from Government of India

  2003 Officers Arts et Letters, French Government

  1986 Kalidas Samman, Madhya Pradesh State Government

  1972 Premchand Puraskar, Uttar Pradesh State Government for Meri Priya Kahaniyan, a collection of short stories in Hindi

  1972 Padmashree, Government of India

  1970 J. D. Rockefeller III Fellowship, New York

  1959 Honorable Mention, Sao Paolo Biennale

  1958 National Award, New Delhi

  1956 National Award, New Delhi

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