Ganesh Pyne (b.1937)

Probably the foremost exponent of the Bengal School of art, Ganesh Pyne’ssignature style shaped from his own experiences of solitude, alienation, pain,horror and moods of tenderness and serenity comes to surface in each of hisworks. The lines are bold, precise, controlled and the drawings that emerge arepotent both in form and content. Stripped of color, they convey an architectonicquality in the structuring of the images.He is obsessed with death. He can’t forget his first brush with death, in thesummer of 1946, when communal riots had rocked Kolkata. His family was forcedout of their crumbling mansion. As he roamed around the city, he came acrossdeath in all its stark reality, all around him. No wonder his paintings rarely havelight backgrounds, and blue and black are his favorite colors. Working mostly intempera, his paintings are rich in imagery and symbolism.“My childhood memories revolve around Kolkata. The sounds and smells of thiscity fill my being. I love Kolkata.” Against his family’s wishes, he took admission inthe Government College of Arts and Crafts, Kolkata. In 1963, he joined the Societyfor Contemporary Artists. During that period he made small drawings in pen andink. This was also the period of experimentation. The anger and despair of the 70sfuelled one of the most fruitful periods in his life as an artist that culminated inworks like ‘Before the Chariot’ and ‘The Assassin’.Initially, Pyne painted watercolors and sketches of misty mornings and waysidetemples, variously influenced as he was by Walt Disney, Abanindranath Tagore, HalsRembrandt and Paul Klee. Equally devoted to cinema as he is to painting, Pyne hasalso drawn inspirations from movies made by Fellini and Ingmar Bergman.


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