Script and Narration by Ella Datta: Ganesh #Pyne, one of the most outstanding #painters of the post-1950s generation of artists, was born in the then Calcutta, now #Kolkata, in 1937. In the mid-1950s, he joined the Government art college in Calcutta. In the early 1950s, Pyne saw a retrospective of Abanindranath Tagore’s works, and it left a lasting impression on him. He describes Abanindranath’s paintings as “intimate soliloquies.” He sought to reflect the same intimacy in his work. After graduating from the art college in 1957, Pyne could not secure any regular job. He earned money by illustrating books. It was a practice he carried even after he was a well-established artist. In 1962, Pyne was taken as a part-time illustrator at Mandar Mallick studio for animated films. It was located in a crumbling mansion in Cornwallis Street in Calcutta. This assignment and location played an important role in his #art. It was from this time onwards that Pyne started evolving his own distinctive language. The lyricism in the figuration in the early years yielded place to razor-sharp lines cutting through blank space of the paper, with angst and intensity. Also, Pyne began to introduce expressionist distortions in his figures. He added skeletal elements to the figure to suggest intimations of mortality. He began to experiment with texturization and he evoked beautifully the crumbling surfaces of a decaying city. Both the figuration and the texturization became his imprimatur, as did his use of shadows and light in his picture space. In this show, one can see his drawings, watercolours, mixed media, and a tempera. A new genre of exhibits seen here is the painting with images on letters that he wrote to his friend Saibal Ghosh. Some of the images in this collection were later transformed into full-fledged temperas and mixed medias. Pyne had a series of favourite images which were not just fantastic forms but were symbolic of his experiences and his state of mind. Many of his favourite tropes are seen at this exhibition. There is the deserted, dilapidated building with the interior like a dark abyss. There are the performing monkeys, a lamp. There is a very interesting watercolour of a seated woman and a cat, with a touch of irony. And of course there is a tempera, which is Pyne’s very own special medium. It is called Woman Sowing. It shows a woman as a nurturer. She is carrying a sapling, a symbol of hope.