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Pioneering artist Vivan Sundaram dies at 79 after battling health issues

Vivan Sundaram, one of India's pioneering multidisciplinary artists, breathed his last on Wednesday morning. He was 79

Vivan Sundaram

Photo: Twitter @CPImspeak

Press Trust of India New Delhi

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Vivan Sundaram, one of India's pioneering multidisciplinary artists, breathed his last on Wednesday morning. He was 79.
"Vivan Sundaram passed away this morning at 9.20 am. Further details of the cremation as decided will be communicated to you shortly," read a note issued by Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT), of which Sundaram was a founding trustee.
Social activist and friend Shabnam Hashmi said that Sundaram had been ailing for the past few months with multiple issues.
"The last three months he was going in and out of the hospital," Hashmi told PTI.
Born in Shimla in 1943 to parents Kalyan Sundaram, former chairman of Law Commission of India, and Indira Sher-Gil, sister of noted Indian modern artist Amrita Sher-Gil, the Delhi-based artist studied painting at MS University, Baroda and The Slade School of Fine Art, London in the 1960s.
Sundaram's artistic practice, which moved from painting during his college years to engaging with everything from readymades, photographs, videos to sculptural installation, has been widely considered crucial in the definition and development of installation as a practice in the country.
"He was one of the finest artist, activist I have known for over 35 years. His demise is a big loss to the art world and also to the creative cultural resistance. He was a rare person, generated extremely interesting ideas, meticulously planned them and worked round the clock to implement them," Hashmi wrote in a Facebook post.
Sundaram's works have been exhibited in the Biennials of Kochi (2012), Sydney (2008), Seville (2006), Taipei (2006), Sharjah (2005), Shanghai (2004), Havana (1997), Johannesburg (1997) and Kwangju (1997).
Sundaram's first retrospective, "Step inside and you are no longer a stranger", which brought together his 50 years of work and ideas, was held at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), New Delhi in 2018.
He is survived by his wife art historian-critic Geeta Kapur.
Topics : artist

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First Published: Mar 29 2023 | 12:22 PM IST

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