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Ganesh Haloi

"Isolation is the most important factor in these paintings. You are alone with nature, and then you become part of it –you participate in it."

Ganesh Haloi's art has evolved through a series of transactions from pure landscape to the innerscapes.

Even though it is abstract, Haloi's works and his motifs have precise associations with the artist's psyche, his experiences and the upheavals that have shaped him and his point of view. "Everything begins in pain," says Haloi. He maintains high standards craftsmanship and his construction of tress, houses and the ambience of Kolkata that seems murky with a suppressed strength. Some of his unforgettable work includes nature-scapes painted on rice paper.

Born in 1936 in East Bengal, now, Bangladesh he migrated to Kolkata during the partition. He graduated from Government College of Art & craft kolkata in 1956 and joined Archaeological Survey of India as a Senior Artist. He was deputed to work at Ajanta from 1957 to 1963. Then he joined Art College Kolkata as a lecturer in 1964.

His initial work includes study of miniatures at Banasthali (Rajasthan) and copying Ajanta frescoes for six years. While his earlier work is dominated with landscapes, his later paintings reflect his introvert and philosophic temperament. Haloi's work shows his preoccupation with the theme of devastation or calamity and resilience.

Born in a district that is now a part of Bangladesh, his earlier memories of the region are of Brahamaputra and delta region mixed with communal holocaust, of partition.

"I try to fit the irregular movements of life into the artificial boundaries of the paintings," he says. His perspective is that of a victim, but tempered with a strong dose of philosophy, a tranquil acceptance. His use of colours is thick, evoking thoughtful reminiscence with spontaneous ease.

Ganesh Haloi has won several awards including the Late R. N. Chakarborty Memorial (ex principal) Gold Medal from the Government College of Art, Kolkata (1956), the seven silver medals from Kolkata University (1953, 1954, 1955). Gold medals from the Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata (1955, 1956, 1957, 1963, 1964, 1966, and 1970).
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