V.S. Gaitonde drawings shine at Bonhams

V.S. Gaitonde drawings shine at Bonhams
Highlights

V.S. Gaitonde Drawings Shine At Bonhams. Six works by V.S. Gaitonde, one of India’s most important modern artists, sold for a total of £727,000 at Bonhams Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art sale on 11th June in London.

Six works by V.S. Gaitonde, one of India’s most important modern artists, sold for a total of £727,000 at Bonhams Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art sale on 11th June in London.

The six untitled ink on paper drawings (estimated between £20,000-35,000 each) were acquired directly from the artist by American abstract painter Morris Graves, who visited Gaitonde’s studio in 1963. He was so excited by the works that he sent an aerogram that same day to Dan and Marian Johnson of the Willard Gallery in New York. “One of the finest painters I have ever seen,” he wrote of Gaitonde. “He is 100 per cent artist – a great and sincere man…an abstract painter with something unspeakably beautiful and clean added. They are the most beautiful landscapes of the mind plus light…”

This series of drawings, part of the same set as a collection in the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi, marks a critical turn in Gaitonde’s career: in 1961 he abandoned figuration, adopting the use of rollers and ink and the use of a monochrome palette.

One of the works sold for £158,500, three for £146,500 and the remaining two for £134,000.

Other highlights included, Untitled (Self Portrait) by Maqbool Fida Husain which sold for £56,250 and Horse by the same artist which made £47,500. Untitled (Birds) by Shalir Ali was bought for £52,500 against an estimate of £5,000-7,000.

In total the sale made £1,370,000 and over 90% of the lots were sold.

Tahmina Ghaffar, newly appointed specialist for Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art, said: “In a strong sale, the Gaitonde series stood out. Each of the drawings was fiercely contested - online, on the ‘phone and in the room - making this one of our most exciting South Asian auctions to date.”

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. Today, the auction house offers more sales than any of its rivals. The main salerooms are in London, New York and Hong Kong. Sales are also held in the UK in Knightsbridge, Oxford and Edinburgh; in the US, in San Francisco and Los Angeles; in Europe, in Paris and Stuttgart and in Sydney, Australia. Bonhams also has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of forthcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit www.bonhams.com.

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