RAM KUMAR (b. India 1924)
signed and dated on reverse: RAM KUMAR 3 X 5 2004
acrylic on canvas
34 1/4 x 59 in. (87 x 149.8 cm.)

Lot Essay

Moving seamlessly between abstraction and figuration, Ram Kumar's body of work addresses the conventions of Western Modernism while preserving a strong sense of his post-independence Indian identity. Kumar, confronting the important Hindu city of Benares in a series of paintings done during the 1960's, moved from these famously taut and faceted landscapes to a more fluid style in the following decades. The subsequent works maintain Kumar's rapturous energy and dynamism but do so with a looser more expressive brushstroke. Kumar's later abstractions reveal a foundation not in the crowded architecture of urbanity characteristic of the Benares series but in the undulating hills of the countryside. This work possibly finds inspiration from the artist's more recent travels to New Zealand.

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