Ganesh Pyne: Paintings by Man Who Painted Death

Ganesh Pyne/Source: Livemint
In the mid of August, 1946, when communal riots shakes the soul of Calcutta, a shy and introvert child became obsessed with death and melancholy. He didn’t know when he made the first stroke with brush, all he remembered he painted sadness.

Sitting Acrobat/1972
Ganesh Pyne, was born and brought up in Kolkata, spending most of childhood and youth in a decaying family mansion in Kabiraj Roh, North Culcutta. He grew up listening to mythological stories and folklore from his grandma, and which gave a shade to his paintings in future.

Ink and Wash On Paper/1962
His first influence was Abanindranath Tagore, the founder of Bengal School of Art. Pyne accidentally came across Abanindranath when he was flipping through the pages of Mouchak, a Bengali children’s magazine. He started reading things which somehow bring closer him to Tagore’s creative persona.

The Teeth/1978
But the much greater impact came in 1946, first with his father’s untimely death and then his family caught up in Calcutta riots, which you can see in his signature paintings.

The Throne/1996
In 1963, he joined the Society for Contemporary Artists, where he met other local artist like Bikash Bhattacharjee, Shyamal Datta Roy, Dharmanarayan Dasgupta and Ganesh Haloi. But during those days, he used to paint with pen and ink, Pyne candidly reminds,”I did not have enough money then to buy color”. His anger and despair of 70s grew into most fruitful periods in his life as an artist, which was later showed in the works like ‘Before the Chariot’ and ‘The Assassin’.

Pyne came into limelight, when The Illustrated Weekly of India published an article where M.F. Hussain named Pyne, as the Best painter of India, considering it was period whenn Francis Souza, Tyeb Mehta and Syed Raza were the leading names in India art scene.

R. Siva Kumar of the Sunday Guardian writes about him in an article, published a few days after the death of Master Fantasist.

He was the only significant artist of his generation who side stepped the progressives of the forties and reconnected with the Bengal School and managed to benefit from that contact, forging a personal modernist idiom rather than slipping into non-productive traditionalism.

Ganesh Pyne on art and creativity,
Artists of our generation painted for the love of art. I feel one should have an unwavering affair with ones creativity. Otherwise, you are swept away by the tide.

Image Source: Bittennails and eye burfi

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