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Renowned artist Ram Kumar passes away

Monday, April 16, 2018

Well-known artist and contemporary of painters such as MF Husain, SH Raza and F N Souza, Ram Kumar passed away on Saturday in Delhi, aged 94. Ram Kumar painted for seven decades, most prolifically during the 1940s and ’50s when India was seeing the emergence of a new breed of Indian artists who later formed the Progressive Artists Group (PAG). Though Kumar never formally joined the PAG, he would exhibit along with the collective. A shy and somewhat reclusive painter, Kumar became most famous for his abstract art, among which the landscapes of Varanasi were to form a major part of his work during the ’60s. Though it was a city teeming with people, Kumar painted Varanasi’s hills, temples and landscapes even as the city with its pall of death turned him inwards into seeking a deeper, mystical meaning from life. And while he never completely renounced the material, even as late as 2008, one of his 1950s paintings, ‘Vagabond’, sold for over $1 million at a Christie’s auction. RIP.

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