Ram Kumar was born in Simla, Himachal Pradesh, India. He lives and works in New Delhi. Trained as an economist, Ram Kumar then studied art at the Sharda Ukil School of Art and, with an invitation from S.H. Raza, he began participating in various group exhibitions. He also studied in Paris under Andre Lhote and Fernand Léger between 1949 and 1952. The human condition is the main concern of the artist. In the early 1960s Kumar took to abstract painting after a pivotal journey to Banaras and never returned to figural painting since then. Kumar’s work turned towards increasingly abstract landscapes. Working mostly in acrylic and oil, his application of paint is powerful and expressive. This has sometimes been interpreted as an evocation both of exultation of natural spaces and an incipient violence within human habitation. Kumar is also a fiction writer. The Government of India awarded him the Padma Shri in 1972, and Padma Bhushan in 2010, two of the four highest civilian honours.