Thursday, May 30, 2013

Vasudeo S. Gaitonde’s exquisite works up for grabs

Among the major highlights of Sotheby’s Indian art Auction next month is a just recently discovered exquisite work by Vasudeo S. Gaitonde’s, ‘Painting No.1’, earlier in the collection of John D. Rockefeller III, the renowned international supporter of Indian art apart from some important works of art by Francis Newton Souza, Jehangir Sabavala and Bhupen Khakhar.

The sale will feature great works by several contemporary Pakistani and Indian artists, like the Deutsche Bank Contemporary Artist of the Year winner, Mohammad Imran Qureshi. Sotheby’s International Head (South Asian Art, Indian & South Asian Art), Yamini Mehta, states: “We’re thrilled while presenting a remarkable sale of works, which have been very carefully curated with some wonderful museum-quality works very fresh to the market, from private collections in Europe, America and India. Many of the works are genuine masterpieces originating from their first owners for the first time into the market.”

Coming to the sale for the first time ever in last five decades, Gaitonde’s painting (price estimate: £250,000-450,000) was acquired during the 1960s in New York. It’s believed to have been in celebrated collector-philanthropist John D. Rockefeller III collection, previously. The oil on canvas work, painted in 1962, carries the hallmark candescence and radiance of the master’s key works from a important year in his own career.

It has quite a few similarities to another 1962 work, Painting No.4, in the New York-based Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection. During this particular period, he moved away from his geometric works and started experimenting with a paint roller & palette knife, choosing to scrape away and reapply layers of pigment – his artistic concern no longer with mere representation, instead the painted surface.

Considered one of our most celebrated albeit reclusive modern painters, he will be the subject of an upcoming retrospective at New York’s Guggenheim Museum. Due to his meticulous and slow style of working, Gaitonde did not a whole lot of canvases during his career, so this work will offer the perfect opportunity for a collector to buy an outstanding artwork by him.

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