“Ram Kumar has no desire to shock or seduce the eye which makes so much of abstract art slide into the sensational or the decorative. The ascetic streak in his mental make-up will not permit any such indulgence. The sense of quiet that pervades his work invites contemplation, not a gaze.”
Born in Simla in 1924 Ram Kumar belongs to the first generation of post-colonial Indian artists and stands prominently amongst such figures as F. N. Souza and M.F Husain.
This exhibition of his recent works at the Grosvenor Gallery features a selection of landscapes, highlights including works from the Benares series, a most sacred Hindu city which Kumar first visited in the 1960s; “During my several visits to the city, my effort has been to fathom a little of its mysterious depths which I could interpret in my paintings”
Ram Kumar’s recent works are increasingly abstract, done in sweeping strokes of paint which evoke both exultation of natural spaces, and more recently an incipient violence within human habitation.
Kumar has exhibited at the International Biennales in Tokyo in 1957 and 1970, the Venice Biennale 1958 and in Sao Paulo in 1961, 1965 and 1972. He has also participated in the Festival of India shows in the then USSR and Japan in 1987 and 1988. Ram Kumar received the Padma Shri in 1971. He also writes short stories in Hindi and four collections of his works have been published. He has received the Prem Chand Puraskar from the U.P. Government for Meri Priya Kahaniyan, a collection of short stories.
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