Exhibited : ‘Ram Kumar : Traversing the Landscapes of the Mind’ at Saffronart, Mumbai, 14th - 26th March, 2017.
Published : ‘Ram Kumar - Traversing the Landscapes of The Mind’ by Saffronart, 2016, pg. 103.
Provenance : Property from an important collection based in New Delhi.
Height of the figure - 6ft
Ram Kumar, like many of his confreres among the first generation of post-colonial Indian artists - including such figures as F N Souza, M F Husain, Paritosh Sen, Jehangir Sabavala, Krishen Khanna, S H Raza and Akbar Padamsee - combined an internationalist desire with the need to belong emphatically to their homeland. In its internationalist mood, this generation looked to the early 20th-century modernisms of Paris, London and Vienna for inspiration; its need to belong prompted an interest in the construction of a viable ‘Indian’ aesthetic that bore a dynamic relationship to an Indian identity. With Ram Kumar, this quest for an indigenist tenor has not meant a superficial inventory of ‘native’ motifs offered as evidence of a static and essentialist Indian identity. Instead, as I have already suggested, he demonstrates that a painter can enact the innermost dramas of his culture while maintaining the individuality, even idiosyncrasy of his performance.
Excerpts from "Parts of a World: Reflections on the Art of Ram Kumar" by Ranjit Hoskote, 2002