June 2nd - July 16th, 2016
Born 1930 near Jaipur, India – Died 2000 in Jaipur, India
Acharya Ram Charan Sharma, aka Vyakul (“the excited one” in Sanskrit) was born in a village in Rajasthan, India, on September 20, 1930. At a young age, he took up painting, attracted above all to the colors, “which I delighted even then in playing with and transmogrifying.” Around the same time, he also started to collect objects of worship or magic, and all kinds of “curiosities.”
From then on, his existence was split between two activities. One brought him recognition and publicity all over the country, as his collection grew year by year until it reached immense proportions. To house and exhibit it, he founded a museum that soon became the largest private institution of its kind in India. His other activity was secret: since childhood, painting had been his hidden passion. After his early “tantra-folk” output, he started to develop his own distinctive style in the 1960s.
“It was not until 1988 that I ‘rediscovered’ him and secured his agreement to the inclusion of some of his paintings in the Magiciens de la Terre (Magicians of the Earth) group show opening a few months later at the Pompidou Center in Paris. Vyakul was 59, and it was the first time in his life that he openly exhibited a (small) part of his work. Until the fall of 1993, of course, when galerie du jour agnès b. opened its doors to him.”
Franck-André Jamme, 1993