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Ganesh Pyne (b. 1937)
The Effigy
Signed and dated in Bengali lower right
Tempera on canvas
14 3/8 x 17 7/8 in. (36.5 x 45.4 cm.)
Ella Datta, Ganesh Pyne: His Life and Times, Calcutta, 1998, p. 110.

Lot Essay

The Effigy is one of Pyne's important canvases from the mid 1970's. In 1965, Pyne produced an ink drawing called The Wings that depicts a skeletal torso with two wing-like forms triumphantly outstretched. The skeletal form re-appears here, and goes on to become a totemic element in the corpus of the artist's work.

The artist states that the burning of 'effigies' is often seen in Calcutta and has provided the imagery for this work. More than a mere sociological observation, the notion of an 'effigy' has deep thematic ties with the work of Pyne. Just as the 'object' is poised between two worlds, so Pyne himself is fascinated with the meeting point of polarities; material and immaterial, life and death, light and dark.

Pyne's work is closely linked to his collective personal imagery, and not always linked to specific myths or legends. Rather, he first demythologizes the events and creates a personalized version that has a particular resonance within his own collective memory. 'He does not narrate a story but creates an experience which is suggestive.' (Ananda Das Gupta, 'Ganesh Pyne', Indian Painting Today 1981, Mumbai, Jehangir Art Gallery, 1981, p. 23.)


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