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signed and dated 'V. S. GAITONDE, 1980'; further signed in Hindi and dated '80' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
53 7/8 x 34 7/8 in. (137 x 88.8 cm.)
Painted in 1980
Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai
Acquired from the above by the present owner whose husband served as the attache of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce in India during the 1980s
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VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 17.5% on the buyer's premium.

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Lot Essay

The reclusive master Vasudeo S. Gaitonde experimented with form and tone. His ethereal and complex paintings conjure a veiled and highly codified version of the natural world, influenced by Zen philosophy and ancient calligraphy. Unlike his more prolific contemporaries, the artist produced very few finished works during his lifetime, preferring instead a careful and meticulous painting process.

Using both a roller and a palette knife, various art historians have commented on the artist's labor-intensive signature style: "The very surface was the sensuous preoccupation of the artist Vasudeo Gaitonde and he modeled it as if it were his object of passion. The planes of paint spread over the canvas, a reminder of nothing other than themselves. The almost translucent planes create an underwater ambience, the effect which is heightened by his frequent use of blue, and by the shafts of light which seem to emerge from the depths. An almost spiritual sublimation gets created from within paint rather to reference any school of thought." (Y. Dalmia, Indian Contemporary Art, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, 1997, p.18) This work successfully straddles the duality between density and weightlessness and forms seem to quiver between abstraction and representation. Using a carefully gradated palette, Gaitonde expertly utilized both negative and positive space to construct his quiet tonal masterpiece.

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