Explained: What makes VS Gaitonde India’s highest-selling modern artist


February 24, Untitled painting of 1969 by VS Guytonde I went under a 42 rupee hammer at an auction by Pundole’s in Mumbai. This is the highest price for Indian modern and contemporary art pieces sold internationally at auction. Gaitonde has consistently broken records in recent years and sells at the highest prices at auctions each year.

Why is Untitled (1969) a unique work of art?

This was the first time Guytonde’s oil on a particular canvas had appeared on the auction market. It belongs to the Glenbarra Art Museum in Japan, which holds the private collection of businessman Fukuoka Masanori. Guytonde painted a limited number of canvases in his lifetime, so each was coveted at the auction.

Beyond the art market, Guytonde’s work has often been referred to by art critics as bright, reverberant, sublime and calm. I can’t see Guytonde’s work, but it is said to be “experienced”. The same applies to today’s amorphous bluish paintings, which are reminiscent of the expanse of the sky and the sea.

Why was the 1960s an important time in Guytonde’s career?

Mamuta Saran writes that Guytonde said that his only plan in life was to enroll in an art school. He found a Zen Buddhist book in a bookstore in Mumbai in 1959, and everything else was a coincidence. This was the moment of the artist’s watershed. Career. The discovery of Zen Buddhism drastically changed his approach to art, shifting it from figurative and geometrical forms to abstractions.

VS Guytonde Untitled, 1961 (Photo: Saffronart)

In Guytonde’s “Landscape of the Mind,” Saran wrote, “The vibrant colors, heavy paint, and rigorous geometry of the late 1950s have now replaced the finest contemplations.” increase. “The composition is very simple, the palette is derived from nature. Overlapping colored veils illuminate the canvas, creating an illusion of infinite space. And a mystery floats in the air.”

Guytonde’s last figurative work, entitled “Birds,” painted in 1961, he only continued to abstract. From now on, I will use paint rollers and palette knives a lot.

Which of the other best-selling works of Guytonde?

Currently, Guytonde dominates the top 10 list of modern and contemporary art in India. He found great international appeal in the illusion of making the subdued quality and complex techniques of his work look simple. The luminescent quality often attributed to his work comes from applying multiple layers of translucent paint — imagine layering fine muslins on top of each other. All of Gaitonde’s best-selling works use this technique.

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