Award Name : Padma Bhushan
Year of Award : 2010
Award for : Arts
Location : Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
Ram Kumar is an Indian artist and writer who has been described as one of India's foremost abstract painters. He was born in 1924 in Shimla, Punjab, British India. He is done an M.A. from St. Stephen's College, Delhi. Ram Kumar took classes at the Sharda Ukil School of Art and thereafter went to Paris and studied under Andre Lhote and Fernand Leger. He paints abstract landscapes in oil or acrylic. He is also an author and writes fiction in Hindi. He has participated in various exhibitions nationally and internationally. Ram Kumar has participated in various exhibitions in and out of India, including the 1958 Venice Biennale and the Festival of India shows in the then USSR and Japan in 1987 and 1988. One of Ram Kumar's latest solo exhibition was in 2008 in Delhi. Ram Kumar also writes in Hindi and eight collections of his works have been published, as well as two novels and a travelogue. The human condition is the main concern of the painter manifested in his early works by the alienated individual within the city. Later the city, specifically Varanasi with its dilapidated, crammed houses, conveys a sense of hopelessness. Increasingly abstract works done in sweeping strokes of paint evoke both exultation of natural spaces and more recently an incipient violence within human habitation. Ram Kumar received the Padma Shri in 1972 and the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian honour, in 2010.