Sunday, August 19, 2012

Deciphering distinctive vocabulary of VS Gaitonde

Vasudeo S. Gaitonde (1924–2001) formed his own distinctive vocabulary, leaving behind a profound influence on the generation of painters to follow. Infinite in their binding spirit and immense deliberations, his captivating visions and intensely poignant images gripped the viewer’s imagination.

After traveling New York in 1964, he was exposed to trends in American post-war art. This was when he started using a roller and palette knife, doing away with a brush. Revealing his mindset as a painter, he had once succinctly remarked: 'A painting is simply a painting - a play of light and color...Each (painting) is a seed that germinates in the next one. It’s not limited to one canvas. I go on adding elements and that's how my work evolves.”

It was a kind of never-ending metamorphosis in a canvas, extending onto the next one. As a whole, the captivating canvases displayed spiritual quality and characteristic silence – meditative, eternal and momentous, evoking subliminal depths of emotions. His paintings, invariably constructed with intricate layers of texture and color, were built around minimalist compositions.

They reflected his quiet vision of the vast universe, as he carried on with an almost ‘Zen-like’ restraint and resoluteness. We are referring to a master artist, who almost singlehandedly pioneered and established non-objective style of painting in modern Indian art.

His work has been prominently featured in a series of prestigious group shows at Metropolitan Pavilion, New York (2001); ‘Millennium Show’, Nehru Centre, Mumbai (2000); Singapore Art Museum (1997); Fine Art Resource, Berlin (1997); Gallery Le Monde de l’ Art, Paris (1994); Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai (1988); Geneva, Switzerland (1986); Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C; MOMA, Oxford, UK; Royal Academy of Arts, London (1982), Northampton Museum, UK (1960); ‘Young Asian Artists’, Tokyo (1957), among others like Deuxieme Biennale International de Menton, France (1974).

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