VS Gaitonde untitled work beats estimate by 100% in $1.6m sale

An untitled work by Indian artist VS Gaitonde has beaten its estimate of $800,000 by 100%, achieving $1.6m at Bonhams New York.

This latest sale demonstrates the upward trend in the market for Gaitonde, following greater appreciation of his work in the west in recent years.

Gaitonde untitled Christies
Gaitonde's work is proving increasingly popular in the west

This culminated in a $3.7m sale at Christie's Mumbai last year, which represents a world record for a piece of Indian art.

Collector Morris Graves (1910-2001) bought the present lot directly from the artist while on a visit to the sub-continent in 1963.

He notified a friend in San Francisco of his new discovery in a letter: "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...."

The sale took place as part of Asian Art Week in New York. Other auctions have so far included Chinese ceramics and Indian and Southeast Asian art.

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