A new biopic on one of India's last great moderns explores his ideas and artistic practice
The opening sequence of Laurent Bregeat’s Ram Kumar: Nostalgic Longing, a documentary on Ram Kumar, shows the ageing artist, bent over his easel, drawing lines and curves with charcoal on a white canvas. “Ultimately nothing may remain of these shapes, but this is just an exercise in trying to find out something (…) important," he says, as the camera zooms in on his face. Through Bregeat’s 48-minute film, the camera returns to this painting as it comes to life with every successive dab of oil paint. It’s fascinating to watch layers of yellow and green, dulled cream and translucent white fall over Kumar’s canvas and get shaped into abstraction with his palette knife.