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Raman Siva Kumar (born 3 December 1956), well known as R. After completing his early education in Pune and Kerala he moved to Santiniketan, where he joined Kala Bhavan and completed his MFA in history of art.
Siva Kumar, is an Indian contemporary art historian, art critic, and curator. Siva Kumar's major research has been in the area of early Indian modernism with special focus on the Santiniketan School. He also has co-curated an exhibition titled "Tryst with Destiny" for the Singapore Art Museum to mark the 50 years of Indian Independence and served as a curatorial adviser for Rhythms of India: The Art of Nandalal Bose curated by Sonia Rhie Quintanilla for the San Diego Museum of Art. Since 1981, Professor Siva Kumar, who is often considered to be "the most erudite and self-effacing art historian" His writings on Abanindranath Tagore and the Santiniketan artists have contributed a new perspective on them by shifting the critical focus from nationalist revivalism to a context sensitive modernism.
Those European modernities, projected through a triumphant British colonial power, provoked nationalist responses, equally problematic when they incorporated similar essentialisms.” R.
Siva Kumar, being an authority on Tagore's paintings, curator of his largest Exhibition and the author/editor of the most comprehensive reference work on Rabindranath's paintings has played an important role in preventing Tagore-fakes.
“There’s a great market for Tagore's paintings and his works are of a rare kind.
I had seen the reproductions and I knew they were fake.
Siva Kumar of Santiniketan, 'The Making of a Contextual Modernism', exhibiting about a hundred works each of Nandalal Bose, Rabindranath Tagore, Ram Kinker Baij and Benode Behari Mukherjee".
Reviewing his book Paintings of Abanindranath Tagore Tapati Guha Takurta wrote: ‘With this magnum opus on Abanindranath Tagore, Siva Kumar can be seen to have traversed full circle within this particular lineage of art practice and art writing in Bengal.It's unfortunate because it completely destroys the oeuvre of the artist.But the problem of fakes is larger than what is made out of it." R. According to Siva Kumar the fakes were "by an academically trained artist — not old Santiniketan.In a review of Rabindra Chitravali in The Statesman, German scholar Martin Kämpchen (de) writes, "It collects excellently faithful reproductions of Rabindranath's paintings in large format. Siva Kumar, has spent his entire working life researching the Bengal School of Art, especially the Santiniketan crop of painters.This is the crowning achievement in this hard-working and self-effacing scholar's career." For the Royal Asiatic Society, Cambridge Journals, W.