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  • Provenance


    Kumar Gallery, New Delhi

  • Catalogue Essay


    Then in the ‘60s came the Varanasi paintings, each a meditation frozen in colour. And each painting seems to be smeared with a sadness all its own. As Ram Kumar says, the sadness comes from his relating the city “to old age, widows, the river Ganga and death.” We watch his journey into the abstract and as the figures have sloughed off, his paintings touch both the surreal and the romantic, as Richard Bartholomew so aptly puts it. “What happens really is that the exorcised familiars, the protagonists that have been exiled, or put to sleep, disappear from the city environment merely to lurk in the shadow of the city of the mind.” All his Varanasi paintings are islands. The city, always pawing the river, seems to be emerging from a long dream. Reality is narcissistic here, looking at its face in the waters of the Ganga. Reality is diffused here, half lost on the edges of slumber. Each painting is like a dreamscape, shadowy, nocturnal, lost in its own reflections in the river.
    K. N. Daruwalla, “Portrait of an Artist”, Review in Outlook India, June 25, 1997

23

Ghats at Varanasi

1963
Oil on canvas.
33 1/4 x 26 in. (84.5 x 66 cm).

Signed and dated “Kumar 63” upper right; also inscribed “No. 12” on the reverse.

Estimate
$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $120,100

The Estate of Mrs. Harry N. Abrams

7 April 2010
New York