"Pyne was a trendsetter"

Mar 13, 2013, 01:01 IST | Hassan M Kamal

One of the leading masters of Bengal Art, artist Ganesh Pyne, who passed away on Tuesday, not only influenced artists of his time but continues to do so even today

Ganesh Pyne (1937-2013)

Art critic and editor, Art Journal
Ganesh Pyne was a huge influence in Bengal art. He was the second generation of Bengal masters, after Abanindranath Tagore, who became a trendsetter. In fact, his work carried a lot of influence of Tagore, but unlike others Pyne didn’t blindly copy him. The influence was there, but he created his own visual vocabulary. Pyne also influenced a new generation of Bengali artists. He has dealt with vast subjects, right from reflecting the politics of his time to social messages. He was ahead of his time, even in the early 1950s, when he had started, that always remained an important thing about his work. It’s a huge loss to Indian art and Bengal Art. He will go down history as a great artist.

Vivan Sundaram,

Ganesh Pyne became a legend from the late 1960s. His work had a very existential poetic imagery. He was a very self-conscious and literate artist; one who was well informed in literature and also very interested in cinema. He created almost surreal landscapes habitated by people who were real and unreal. He was preoccupied by death, so there was a deep anguish in his work, drawn from his graphic imagination. He became a cult figure for decades. Pyne had such a strong influence that people, who were awed by his work, took a long time to let any one else take his place.

Papri Bose Mehta,

I have never met Ganesh Pyne, but I have always known him through his work. I have enjoyed the depth in his work. He gives the quintessential Bengali touch to his work — it'’s not something that can be broken into a formula or explained, it goes directly into the sense of knowing and feeling. There’s an instant connection the moment you see his work. From what I have heard about him, he was a bit of a recluse but he influenced so many people through his work, and that’s a great thing. He was not a superficial artist. 

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