5 October 1999
Ganesh Pyne (b. 1937)
The Kneeling Warrior (Karna)
signed in Bengali (lower right)
tempera on canvas
22 x 18 in. (55.9 x 45.7 cm.)
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E. Dutta, Ganesh Pyne: His Life and Times, Calcutta, 1998, p. 100, illustrated.
London, Whiteleys Art Gallery, Chamatkara: Myth and Magic in Indian Art, 1996, p. 49, illustrated.
Ganesh Pyne creates enigmatic images often drawn from the world of myth and traditional folklore. Warriors and weapons rekindle in his mind ancient associations, when battles were fought to establish idealistic values.
Pyne started using tempera in the late 1960's. Tempera is an opaque medium where pigment is mixed with a binding agent to fix it on canvas or paper. His experiments with indigenous powder pigments and a variety of binding agents allowed him to develop a unique way of building up the surface and texture of the canvas. The technique is elaborate and each tempera is 'a gradual process of growth. It takes three to four months to complete a painting, no matter how small it is.'
With the temperas, Pyne's style matured and evolved its own identity. As in The Charioteer, the figuration became more angular, the palette more luminous and the texture was built up to lend an air of mystery to the paintings. By deploying an ancient medium to modern use he was able to develop a unique visual language.
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