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Works of Ramkumar(b.1924)



Ramkumar,could be regarded as one of the first-generation of post-independence artists. His contemporaries include the likes of Mf Husain, F.N souza, SH Raza and Akbar Padamsee.  The 20th century modernisms of Paris, Vienna and London served as an inspiration for him combined with a desire to ethnically belong to the homeland- in its inherent Indianness. Ramkumar’s search for an Indian identity has transcended mere motifs and figurations. As an artist he has transcended from figurative works to an abstraction. Having renounced the active engagement with the state and civil society that had earlier characterised his position, the artist has turned gradually inward, choosing to be an internal exile of the spirit. This withdrawal affords him the space in which to reflect upon the great natural forces that have enthralled him since his childhood, to gauge their metaphorical import: in their workings, he senses the deeper intrigue of time as kala, the destroyer of worlds.

He began his artistic journey studying at Sharada Ukil school of Art. He later went to Paris and trained under Andre Lhote and Fernand Legar. He was one of the members of Bombay Progressive Arts School.

His initial artworks had figurations which later transcended into abstract landscapes. In a conversation with Satyajit Ray, he stated that he was trying to say nothing through his paintings. The nothingness, reveals an essence which would otherwise be lost with the preoccupation with forms and figurations.

Education : 

1949-52 Atelier Fernand Leger and Andre Lhote, Paris
Evening Classes at the Sharada Ukil School, New Delhi
M.A. in Economics from St. Stephen's College, Delhi

Major Exhibitions:

2014, Aakriti Art Gallery

2000 Landscapes from New Zealand, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi
1999 Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai
1998 A Gallery, New York

1987, 88 Festival of India shows in the then USSR and Japan

1985 Artistes Indiens en France, Foundation Nationale des Arts Graphiques et Plastiques, Paris

1967 Joint exhibition with M.F. Husain in Delhi and Prague, Czechoslovakia

1959 Sao Paulo Biennal 
1958 Venice Biennale, Italy


Padmashree, Government of India, 1972

John D. Rockefeller III Fellowship, New York, 1970

Premchand Puraskar, Government of Uttar Pradesh, 1972

Kalidas Samman, Government of Madhya Pradesh, 1986

Officers Arts et Letters, Government of France, 2003

Lifetime Achievement Award, Government of Delhi, 2010

Padma Bhushan, Government of India, 2010

Fellowship of the Lalit Kala Akademi, 2011


Various private and public collections both in India and abroad




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