Friday, March 22, 2013

‘A Tribute to Ganesh Pyne’

Ganesh Pyne’s signature style shaped from his own experiences of solitude, alienation, pain, horror and moods of tenderness and serenity comes to surface in each of his works. At times, these images were offshoots of an idea that might have flitted through his mind. At others, they tend to resonate lines from poems that might have made an impression on his mind.

The lines are bold, precise, controlled and the drawings that emerge are potent both in form and content. Stripped of color, they convey the architectonic quality in the structuring of the images. ‘A Tribute to Ganesh Pyne’ at New Delhi-based Vadehra Art traces various features of his oeuvre.
The foremost exponent of Bengal School of Art Ganesh Pyne blended romanticism, fantasy and inventive play of light and dark in his works wherein the labyrinths of subconscious have formulated the imagery of his paintings. His own experiences of pain, solitude, alienation, horror shaped up his signature style.

Ganesh Pyne was born in Kolkata and grew up in a decaying mansion. He also grew up on stories told by his grandmother --- fold stories, mythological stories, and fairy tales. He spent several evenings in smoky Kolkata cafes discussing communism and Picasso with his friends. "My childhood memories revolve around Kolkata. The sounds and smells of this city fill my being. I love Kolkata."

The artist was obsessed with death. He couldn't forget his first brush with death, in the summer of 1946, when communal riots had rocked Kolkata. His family was forced out of their crumbling mansion. As he roamed around the city, he stumbled upon a pile of dead bodies. On the top was the body of a stark naked old woman, with wounds on her breast. No wonder then his paintings rarely had light backgrounds, and blue and black happened to be his favorite colors. Death also finds its way back into his canvas through different motifs. Working mostly in tempera, his paintings are rich in imagery and symbolism.

Initially, Pyne painted watercolors and sketches of misty mornings and wayside temples. Equally devoted to cinema as he was to painting, Pyne also drew inspirations from movies made by Fellini and Ingmar Bergman. We pay homage to one of the foremost exponents of the Bengal School of art.

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