Shimla, 1924 - 2018

Ram Kumar

Ram Kumar was born in Simla in 1924. Completing his Masters in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, he began his art education in the evening classes of Sarada Ukil School of Art, New Delhi, where he learnt the ‘Western style’ of painting under the tutelage of Sailoz Mookherjea. Around 1948, he joined the Shilpi Chakra group of artists in Delhi. In 1950, he left for Paris with fellow artists S. H. Raza and Akbar Padamsee, where he became part of the communist circle of intelligentsia, regularly attending meetings and demonstrations. On his return to India, he became friends with art critic Richard Bartholomew, and began regularly exhibiting with the Delhi Shilpa Chakra, becoming by the mid-Fifties one of India’s emerging young painters. He received the national award in...

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Biography

Ram Kumar was born in Simla in 1924. Completing his Masters in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, he began his art education in the evening classes of Sarada Ukil School of Art, New Delhi, where he learnt the ‘Western style’ of painting under the tutelage of Sailoz Mookherjea. Around 1948, he joined the Shilpi Chakra group of artists in Delhi. In 1950, he left for Paris with fellow artists S. H. Raza and Akbar Padamsee, where he became part of the communist circle of intelligentsia, regularly attending meetings and demonstrations. On his return to India, he became friends with art critic Richard Bartholomew, and began regularly exhibiting with the Delhi Shilpa Chakra, becoming by the mid-Fifties one of India’s emerging young painters. He received the national award in 1956 and 1958, and was awarded the Padma Shri by the Indian government in 1971. In addition to being a visual artist of repute, Ram Kumar is also a prolific Hindi writer.

Like several first generation post-colonial Indian artists, such as F. N. Souza, S. H. Raza and Paritosh Sen, Ram Kumar combined a desire for global success with the need to belong emphatically 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, and thus are strongly suggestive of abstract landscapes. At the same time, the intensity of colour in his delightful greens and browns, mustard yellows and inviting blues of the sky and water, do not let one escape from reality either.

Artworks

1

Untitled, 1977

Related Categories

20th Century Art / Abstraction / Art after World War II / Art of the 1950s / Art of the 1960s / Art of the 1970s / Canvas / Delhi / Earth/Soil / Europe / India / Indian Art / Landscape Painting / Learning from Different Cultures / Lithograph / Modern Indian Art / Nature / Oil on Canvas / Oil Paint / Oil Painting / Painting / Paper / Paris / Post-War Indian Art / Shilpi Chakra Group / Simla

Curriculum Vitae

Education

  • 1952

    Studied Painting under Andre Lhote and Fernard Leger, Paris (1949 ~ 1952)

  • 1950

    Studied under Fernard Léger, Atelier Frenand Léger, Paris

  • 1946

    MA in Economics from the St. Stephens College, Delhi University, New Delhi

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

Group Exhibitions

  • 2018

    India’s French Connection: Indian Artists in France, DAG, New York (~ 2019)

  • India’s French Connection, Visual Arts Gallery organised by DAG, New Delhi

  • 2014

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

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Curriculum Vitae

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Education

  • 1952

    Studied Painting under Andre Lhote and Fernard Leger, Paris (1949 ~ 1952)

  • 1950

    Studied under Fernard Léger, Atelier Frenand Léger, Paris

  • 1946

    MA in Economics from the St. Stephens College, Delhi University, New Delhi

  • 1945

    Sharada Ukil School of Art, New Delhi

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

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

  • 2011

    Chawla Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • Ram Kumar: A Retrospective, Aicon Gallery, London

  • 2010

    Selected Works: 1949 -2010, presented by Vadehra Art Gallery at Rabindra Bhavan, Lalit Kala Akademi; Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (~ 2011)

  • Ram Kumar: A Retrospective, Aicon Gallery, New York

  • 2009

    Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • 2008

    Reflective Landscapes, Aicon Gallery, New York

  • Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • Homage to Kekoo Gandhy, Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai

  • 2007

    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

Group Exhibitions

  • 2018

    India’s French Connection: Indian Artists in France, DAG, New York (~ 2019)

  • India’s French Connection, Visual Arts Gallery organised by DAG, New Delhi

  • 2014

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

  • 2013

    Pioneers of Modernism, Sovereign FZE, Dubai

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

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

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

  • 2012

    Iconic Processions, Aicon Gallery, New York

  • Gallery Collection, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • Aqua, Gallery Beyond, Mumbai

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

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

  • Sightings, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai

  • 2011

    Reprise 2011, Aicon Gallery, New York (~ 2012)

  • Modern Masters, Aicon Gallery, New York

  • POP: Progressives on Paper, Aicon Gallery, New York

  • Anecdotes, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai

  • Masterclass, Dhoomimal Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • 2010

    Paper Trails, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • The Progressives & Associates, Grosvenor Gallery, London

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

  • 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

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

  • Tracing Time, Bodhi Art, Mumbai

  • Moderns and More, Aicon Gallery, Palo Alto

  • 2008

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

  • Post Independence Masters, Aicon Gallery, New York

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

  • 2006

    Shadow Lines, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • 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

  • Modern Indian Art, organized by Saffronart and Pundole Art Gallery, Metropolitan Pavilion, New York

Grants/Awards

  • 2003

    Officers Arts et Letters, French Government

Collections

  • National Museum, Prague

  • National Museum, Berlin

  • Punjab Museum, Chandigarh

  • B.A.A.C, Kolkata

  • Government State Museum, Shimla

  • National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

  • Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi

  • Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi