New Delhi: London seems to be gaining popularity with the artist fraternity. From occasional group shows it has emerged as a venue for solo exhibitions, artist workshops, auctions and premiere celebrity studded events.
73-year old veteran artist Ram Kumar who belongs to the first generation of post-colonial Indian artists stands prominently amongst legendary figures like F N Souza and M F Hussain.
His recent works come up for a display-cum-sale at the Grosvenor Gallery from June 14-29, featuring a selection of landscapes and the Benares series which have been inspired by his visit of the 1960s.
“Subsequent visits to the sacred city intensified the mysterious aura which I always wished to interpret in my paintings,” he explains.
Ram Kumar’s recent works are increasingly abstract, done in sweeping strokes of paint which evoke an exultation of natural spaces. Sans desire to shock or seduce the eye which makes so much of abstract art slide into the sensational or the decorative, his ascetic streak ensures there is no such artistic indulgence. The sense of quiet that pervades his work invites contemplation and serious thought.
His work has a hint of timelessness which ensure favourable reviews where ever he has exhibited in the past. He was hailed as an artist to watch out for when he displayed his work at the International Biennales in Tokyo in 1957.
The Venice Biennale in 1958 and Sao Paulo in 1961, 1965 and 1972 cemented his credentials. He participated in the Festival of India shows in the then USSR and Japan in 1987 and 1988.
Not many know that he writes short stories in Hindi and has four published collections to his credit. He has received the Prem Chand Puraskar from the UP Government for Meri Priya Kahaniyan, a collection of short stories and the Padam Shree for his contribution to the world of art.