Vasudeo S Gaitonde's untitled painting breaks Indian art record

An untitled painting by Vasudeo S Gaitonde (1924-2001) was the top lot of Christie's inaugural sale in Mumbai - achieving $3.7m on December 19.

It surpassed its estimate of $1.3m by 178.8% - and beat SH Reza's previous record of $3.4m, achieved at Christie's New York in 2010, to become the most valuable work of Indian art ever sold.

Vasudeo Gaitonde Untitled Christies
Vasudeo S Gaitonde is regarded as India's foremost conceptual artist

Regarded as India's most significant contemporary artist, Gaitonde's meditative and deeply introspective works have proven popular both in India and abroad.

He travelled to New York on a Rockefeller Fellowship where he studied the American modernists and witnessed firsthand the birth of conceptual art - a movement that profoundly influenced his work.

Tyeb Mehta's Mahishasura made $3.1m - a new record for the artist at auction and an increase of 111% on a $1.5m estimate.

Steven Murphy, Christie's chief executive officer, commented: "Holding an auction in India for the first time is the realization of a long held dream for Christie's.

"We are delighted to have welcomed several thousand members of the public and clients over the course of the month."

The auction took place in the Taj Mahal and doubled its pre-sale estimate to realise a total of $15.4m.

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