An untitled painting by VS Gaitonde (1924-2001), valued at $600,000-800,000, is the lead lot of Bonhams' September 17 Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian art sale.
The work dates to 1963 and was bought directly from the artist by painter and collector Morris Graves, who was visiting India on the invitation of Indira Gandhi.
Graves (1910-2001) wrote in a letter to a friend in San Francisco: "today Mrs. Jayakar took me to the studio of a Bombay painter named GAITONDE age 32 & one of the finest painters I have ever seen.
"He is very little known. He's as fine or superb as Mark Rothko at his best. He paints in oil average size 34" x 26" 38" x 48" 5ft. x 4 ft. a fine person and will be a world-known painter one of these days.
"I bought 1 superb oil & six supersuperb ink drawings. He is an abstract painter with something unspeakably beautiful & clean added. They are the most beautiful landscapes of the mind plus light and composed with very great simplicity. You too will be very awed by him...."
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