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Vasudeo. S. Gaitonde

India (1924 -  2001 )
GAITONDE Vasudeo. S. Untitled

Saffronart India /Sep 10, 2015
307.95 - 369.54
56,121.76

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Artworks in Arcadja
110

Some works of Vasudeo. S. Gaitonde

Extracted between 110 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Vasudeo. S. Gaitonde - Untitled

Vasudeo. S. Gaitonde - Untitled

Original 1960
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Lot number: 530
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UNTITLED gaitonde vasudeo. s. (1924-2001) Signed and dated in Devanagari on reverse Oil on canvas 59½ x 103 in. (152 x 262.5 cm) Painted in 1960 Read Condition Report Read Condition Report Register or Log-in to view condition report Saleroom Notice Catalogue Note I. The Sky’’’’s the Limit The early 1960s invokes an optimistic time of achievement in technology and industry resulting in a period of rapid growth after the end of the Second World War. Before the geopolitical, cultural, and sexual revolution; the dismantling of colonial empires rocked the end of the previous decade. The launch of Sputnik in 1957 and the following rocket-age propelled the imagination towards an interconnected world as Air India with its first Boeing 707 jet began transatlantic services to far-flung destinations like New York in 1960. To commemorate this historic moment in its corporate history, Air India gave Vasudeo S. Gaitonde his largest commission. This present Untitled 1960 work is Gaitonde’’’’s largest (at approximately 5 x 9 feet) and most important painting on canvas. Air India ultimately did not take ownership of the work which instead lived with one of India’’’’s greatest artist-patron-collectors of the 20 th century, Bal Chhabda (1923 – 2013) and became the centerpiece of his vaunted collection. Watching birds flitting amidst clouds and mist, the viewer can interpolate their own views from the abstracted textures, shapes and brushstrokes that combine to create a minimalist aesthetic in this ethereal painting with varying hues and layers of blues playing with light. Are these birds in flight? Or is it a stylized fin of a jet streaking across the sky with the sun and moon in the distance? We see and meditate on what we want to see within his works as Gaitonde himself did not leave behind any clues, preferring instead the silent purity of experience that epitomizes his non-objective theories on art. “This impressive work, the largest of its kind on canvas, displays Gaitonde’’’’s masterful handling of both dramatic impasto and thin veils of atmospheric color. A powdery blue circle, which hovers against the negative space of the canvas and serves as a counterpoint to the cluster of geometries on the left, dominates the composition. Later in the mid-1960s, Gaitonde would return to this technique of suspending and balancing forms in some of his monochromatic studies on Zen calligraphy and abstraction.” (S. Poddar, V. S. Gaitonde, Painting as Process, Painting as Life, Guggenheim, New York, 2014, p. 25) “On one of his research trips to Delhi in February, [Director of The Painting as Meditation, Sunil] Kaldate also invited the painter Nitin Dadrawala to join him. Dadrawala had been mesmerized by Gaitonde’’’’s work ever since he had set eyes on a greyish-blue painting by him at Chhabda’’’’s home in 1992, and needed no second invitation.… For Dadrawala, that encounter with Gaitonde’’’’s work changed his entire manner of thinking and painting. “What I got from him is silence. When you stand in front of his canvas, you are silent, you forget everything.” (J. Thacker, ed., and M. Menezes, Reticent Recluse, Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde: Sonata of Solitude, Bodhana Arts and Research Foundation and The Raza Foundation, to be published 2016) II. Gaitonde’’’’s Breakthrough Untitled, 1960 is both a departure and a major turning point in Gaitonde's stylistic evolution marking a historic moment in the artist’’’’s career as it illustrates his transition between the figurative and geometric explorations of the 1940s-50s, towards the later experimentation with pure abstraction from 1960s-70s and onwards. His early 1940s-50s works were marked by the use of bold color highly reminiscent of Basholi painting but also influenced by artists such as Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky. In a 1985 interview, Gaitonde explains: "Early on, I did both figurative and non-figurative paintings; I was initially influenced by Indian miniature …[then] I started eliminating the figures and just saw the proportions of colors….” The artist continues, “I experimented with this because sometimes figures can bind you, restrict your movements. I just took patterns instead. I think that step really marked the beginning of my interest and preoccupation in [non-objective] painting." (Gaitonde in interview with M. Lahiri, Patriot, September 27, 1985) In 1957, the seeds of Gaitonde’’’’s preoccupation with non-objectivism became readily apparent at the Young Asian Artists’’’’ Exhibition in Tokyo, where he displayed The Bird and an Egg. At this time, Gaitonde began to experiment with a paint roller and palette knife. His practice involved the application of multiple translucent layers of paint to the surface of his canvases, followed by the removal and then re-application of pigment. This laborious process resulted in the achievement of radiant luminosity through varying depths of light and color, creating subtle textural structures and forms that emerged along perceived horizons. Starting in the early 1960s, the zeitgeist of Abstract Expressionism—which had earlier ignited Europe and then exploded in New York—dramatically altered the course of Indian modern art. Landscape painting and figuration, which were hallmarks of Progressive-era painting in India, shifted radically by the 1960s. This is apparent during this period not only for Gaitonde, but also for Progressive-era artists such as Sayed Haider Raza and Ram Kumar in their transitions into abstraction and Maqbool Fida Husain and Krishen Khanna for their experimentation in the genre. As for Gaitonde, he began to receive wider recognition with his works showcased at the 1962 Venice Biennale and entering prominent Western collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York. He was patronized by the Graham Gallery and collected by the Gund and Rockefeller families and their friends. The latter bestowed upon him a Fellowship for a one –year stay in New York in 1964. III. The Artist-Collector-Patron: Bal Chhabda During the late 1950s, Gaitonde was painting in a small studio at the Bhulabhai Desai Memorial Institute in Bombay, alongside such luminaries as Ravi Shankar, Husain, Tyeb Mehta and Nasreen Mohamedi, whom he mentored. The Institute served as a meeting ground for artists and provided rooms that could be used as studios. Here Gaitonde met and befriended Chhabda to a level of intimacy that when Chhabda married his wife Jeet, Gaitonde served as his witness. Chhabda was from a wealthy family whose money was made in film production and distribution. He opened Bombay’’’’s first private art gallery, Gallery 59, in 1959 featuring the works of his friends MF Husain, Sayed Haider Raza, Akbar Padamsee and Krishen Khanna. He organised Gaitonde’’’’s solo at the Jehangir Art Gallery in 1961-62. Frequently he would buy the works of his friends to keep them financially supported. In turn, he acquired many of their most significant works. For instance, Raza’’’’s oft published 1983 opus, Maa, was at one time in the Chhabda collection as was many other Progressive Art Group masterpieces which passed through his hands. After the Air India purchase fell through, Bal Chhabda noted that “Gaitonde had spent 150 rupees to buy a Japanese canvas especially for the assignment. Alas, the work did not gain the buyer’’’’s approval and this put Gaitonde in a quandary. To help him out, Chhabda offered to buy it off from him for 200 rupees!” (J. Thacker (ed.) and M. Menezes, Reticent Recluse, Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde: Sonata of Solitude, to be published 2016) However, unlike other works that Chhabda bought and sold through the years, Untitled, 1960, maintained a special place in his heart and home, which became renowned in Bombay as a salon and gathering spot for members of India’’’’s artistic community.
Vasudeo. S. Gaitonde - Untitled

Vasudeo. S. Gaitonde - Untitled

Original 1971
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Lot number: 39
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V S Gaitonde Untitled Signed and dated 'V.S. GAITONDE 71'; signed again in Devnagari (on the reverse) 1971 Oil on canvas 60 x 40 in (152.1 x 101.6 cm) PROVENANCE: Christie's, New York, 23 March 2010, lot 59 Saffornart, 19-20 June 2012, lot 38 An Important Asian Private Collection
Vasudeo. S. Gaitonde - Untitled

Vasudeo. S. Gaitonde - Untitled

Original 1959
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Lot number: 24
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VASUDEO S. GAITONDE (1924-2001) Untitled signed and dated in Hindi (lower right); further inscribed 'Drawing 12' (on the reverse) signed and dated in Hindi (lower right); further inscribed 'Drawing 13' (on the reverse) ink on paper 22 x 30 in. (55.9 x 76.2 cm.) each Executed in 1959; Two works on paper (2) Provenance Formerly in the collection of Bal Chhabda Thence by descent Acquired from the above by the present owner
Vasudeo. S. Gaitonde - Untitled

Vasudeo. S. Gaitonde - Untitled

Original 1985
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Lot number: 47
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For virtually his entire career, V S Gaitonde remained somewhat unrecognized and eventually went into self imposed seclusion. His art has, in recent times, generated the kind of interest that he never saw during his lifetime. His uniquely sophisticated artistic sensibility has earned him an indisputable place in the Indian and international modern art world. Gaitonde(1924 - 2001) is widely regarded as India's foremost abstractionist,... V S Gaitonde Untitled 1985 Ink on paper pasted on mountboard 13.5 x 9.5 in | 34.3 x 24.1 cm Signed in Devnagari and dated '85' (lower right) EXHIBITED Chamatkara: Myth and Magic in Indian Art , organised by Centre of International Modern Art (CIMA), Calcutta at Whitleys Art Gallery, London, 29 October-15 November 1996 PUBLISHED Rakhi Sarkar ed., Chamatkara: Myth and Magic in Indian Art , Calcutta: CIMA Enterprise, 1996, p. 79 (illustrated) PROVENANCE Jean and Krishna Riboud Collection, Paris Christie's, Paris, 7 March 2007, lot 38 A Distinguished Collector, New Delhi
Vasudeo. S. Gaitonde - Composition

Vasudeo. S. Gaitonde - Composition

Original 1962
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Lot number: 28
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Lot Details Vasudeo S. Gaitonde (India, 1924-2001) Composition Ink on paper Signed गायतोंडे and dated 62 in Devanagari centre right 52.1 x 72.4 cm (20 1/2 x 28 1/2 in). Footnotes Provenance: Morris Graves 1963-68, acquired directly from the artist in Bombay Humboldt Arts Council, San Francisco, 24 October 1968 In 1963 Morris Graves visited India at the invitation of Indira Gandhi. He met her and her father, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, in New Delhi. It was a close personal friend and later biographer of Indira Ghandi, Pupul Jayakar, with whom Graves visited Gaitonde's studio on 20th February 1963. Such was the impact of his works that Graves sent an aerogram that same day to Dan and Mariam Johnson of the Willard Gallery, New York: ...The second thing is this, today Mrs. Jayakar took me to the studio of a Bombay painter named GAITONDE – age 32[*] & one of the finest painters I have ever seen. He is very little known. He's as fine – or superb – as Mark Rothko at his best. He paints in oil – average size 34" x 26" – 38" x 48" – 5ft. x 4 ft. a fine person and will be a world-known painter one of these days. You should be the ones to show him first. I told Mrs. Jayakar so. She agreed. Said she'd help. He is 100 per cent artist – a great & sincere (+ humble - + unconscious gift). I bought 1 superb oil & six super–superb ink drawings. He is an abstract painter with something unspeakably beautiful & clean added. They are the most beautiful landscapes of the mind plus light and composed with very great simplicity. You too will be very awed by him.... (*Gaitonde was actually 39 at the time) A copy of this letter is preserved in the Special Collections and Archives at University of Oregon Libraries. It was this communication which lead to a solo exhibition in the USA at the Willard Gallery, who also represented artists with similar East Asian philosophies such as Mark Tobey and Morris Graves. These six ink on paper drawings were acquired by Morris Graves alongside two oil on canvas paintings which were recently sold at Bonhams New York in September 2014 (Untitled 1961 for $1,068,000 and Untitled 1963 for $1,200,000).
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