Modern and Contemporary Art from India
February 25, 2011 through September 4, 2011, San Jose Museum of Art
  UNTITLED, 1967
Oil on canvas
32 ½ x 20 inches
Private collection
Photo: © Christie’s Images Limited 2010

Ram Kumar
Born 1924, Shimla, India
Lives in New Delhi

After visiting Paris in the 1950s, Ram Kumar abandoned figure painting in favor of urban landscapes of Benares and the Hindu holy city, Varanasi. Untitled (1967) features overlapping geometric forms and planes that recall various European artistic movements, primarily Cubism. The fractured composition and juxtaposition of somber deep blue and vibrant yellow hues can be associated with the sense of alienation prevalent in Indian cities rapidly undergoing modernization. 1

1Rebecca M. Brown, Art for a Modern India, 1947-1980 (Durham: Duke University Press, 2009), pp. 152-153, and Geeta Kapur, Contemporary Indian Artists (New Delhi: Vikas, 1978), p. 77.