Curatorial Note

December 2007 : Kothao Tomar Haariyeh Jaabar Nei Maana Monay Monay-Solo show by K.C.Pyne

Solo show by K.C.Pyne

God, as Pablo Picasso argued, is only another artist who invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat and went on trying other things without having any consistent style. Perhaps in a more self-indulgent fashion, Kartick Chandra Pyne, creates his creatures in his imaginary space without even consulting the dictum of God’s standard taxonomic logic. Often his animals are not necessarily physical creatures of wild nature but are repositories of human psychology as his artistic vision embraces both the conscious and the sub-conscious worlds. In his ludic fantasy, he conjures up like a child his own sense of imaginary proportion to depict his creatures far and near as if while looking at the universe through the wrong end of the telescope and having the last laugh at life’s realities.
Every child is an artist but the problem, as Picasso cautioned us, is how to remain an artist once he grows up. The innocence of the child is a potential for creativity which requires the courage to let go of certainties, to hurl oneself into the vortex of chaos and hauling as much potential from it as possible to adhere to, perhaps, some sort of personal order. For Pyne, however, this chaos is his child-like innocence and unbridled spontaneity. The artist in him looks at everything as though, much like a child, he is seeing it for the first time. This genuine innocence of vision can be achieved by a grown-up artist if he has forgotten all the other ways that his objects of vision have so far been painted.

After graduating from the Government College of Art and Crafts, Calcutta in 1955 Pyne began to move away from the tenets of both classical Indian and Western art to respond to the beckoning of his own artistic impulses. Landscapes fascinated him initially. But along with the world of nature and flora emerged his own reconstructed images of fauna that often signified as metaphors of human passion and energy, and his paean to the elemental magic of women. This transition may have risen from his penchant for human psychology and observing the intricacies of human behaviour.
 

Installation View Of The Show

Kothao Tomar Haariyeh Jaabar Nei Maana Monay Monay-Solo show by K.C.Pyne Solo show by K.C.Pyne  

Art Work In The Show

Kothao Tomar Haariyeh Jaabar Nei Maana Monay Monay-Solo show by K.C.Pyne After graduating from the Government College of Art and Crafts, Calcutta in 1955 Pyne began to move away from the tenets of both classical Indian and Western art to respond to the beckoning of his own artistic impulses. Landscapes fascinated him initially. But along with the world of nature and flora emerged his own reconstructed images of fauna that often signified as metaphors of human passion and energy, and his paean to the elemental magic of women. This transition may have risen from his penchant for human psychology and observing the intricacies of human behaviour. An inveterate introvert, the world of workaday reality does not attract Pyne as much as lower depths of psyche and the transformed world out of his fancy. \"I did not really know”, he once said, “that I worked in the surreal style till it was pointed out to me.” But can Pyne’s ‘style’ be termed surrealist? No, not in any epistemological way because surrealism, which initially began as a literary movement, was an aftermath of a socio-historical juncture. Adherents of Surrealism thought that the horrors of World War I were the culmination of the Industrial Revolution and the result of the rational mind. Consequently, however, irrational thought and dream-states were viewed as the natural antidote to those social problems. The Surrealist diagnosis of the ‘problem’ of the realism and capitalist civilisation is a restrictive overlay of false rationality, including social and academic convention, on the free functioning of the instinctual urges of the human mind. The Surrealist ethos also connected itself with the theories of Sigmund Freud who asserted that unconscious thoughts do motivate human behaviour while advocating free association and dream analysis to reveal subterranean thoughts. In the case of Pyne too, his artistic vision does not adhere to logic because he does not see with his eyes but rather through his subconscious mind -- in an act of surrender to the liberty of his dreamy vision -- with little control over the wanton caprice of his depictions. So, in this vein he is perhaps the most seminal surrealist of the contemporary Indian art. With regard to his works in this exhibition, however, we get immersed in his sylvan fairy tale world composed with his imaginative use of colour and capricious embodiment of forms. With his playful virtuosity, he transforms his perception of the natural world into ‘free-form images’, into the stuff of dreams. Thus, his overwhelmingly aggrandised sun rises up to gaze with desire at the minikin nude belles on the beach. Or, often without arms, his female nudes with assets of lush bosoms and bottoms are celebrated, not hidden away behind the curtain of conventional prudery. Or, mere dots are enough to conjure up the graphic quality of his bathers in a round diminutive watercourse surrounded by trees. Another aspect characterises the works in this exhibition. With economy of lines, Pyne often leaves the art paper half-empty on the backdrop, or leaves seemingly unfinished, which leaves the images curt yet throbbing, while inciting the viewer’s imagination further and yet furtively whispering the message to him that ‘less can be more’. In his vision, puny black birds may not always fly high above us but prevail earth-bound on the base line of the landscapes. An owl is blown-up on magical steam, or ram-rod straight fishes move like missiles of fancy, or just one huge fish fills the water-bed. A doe pops out from the marshland, or animals’ faces emerge from the wood with striped trees as if the latter share the visual particulars of the animals’ bodies. Or, elsewhere, his trees turn sinuous to dance with joy. André Breton would have characterised this ethos as “the omnipotence of the dream and in the disinterested play of thought.” Somewhere in his vision, one may also trace an invocation of Henri Rousseau’s magical universe with this great French painter’s quality of haunting dream, that innocent directness of feeling. Like Rousseau’s, what goes on in the enchanted world of this Bengali painter needs no rational explanation, because little is possible, but perhaps for that very reason its magic becomes unbelievably real to us. This quality makes him a pioneer in this genre among the Indian contemporary painters as he has made visible what, without him, might perhaps never have been seen.

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