Gaitonde sets world record at Christie's debut India auction

Gaitonde sets world record at Christie's debut India auction

Gaitonde sets world record at Christie's debut India auction

Modernist painter V S Gaitonde set a world record for modern Indian art when his abstract landscape fetched Rs 23.7 crore (USD 3.7 million) at Christie's first auction in India, that raised over Rs 96 crores doubling pre-sale estimates.

Gaitonde's untitled oil-on canvas golden yellow coloured landscape painted in 1979 and bearing his signature in hindi went to a private collector from the US who placed the bid over telephone. The reserve price of the artwork had been pegged at Rs 8.5 crore.

A total of 79 out of 81 works on offer were sold at the auction, which was termed as "extraordinary" by Steven Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, Christie's.

The jewel-toned painting is one of the earliest work done by the artist after he graduated from the J J schol of Art and was in personal collection of Mumbai-based gallerists duo, the late Kekoo and Khorshed Gandhy.

"This painting of Gaitonde really stands out. Inspired by early miniature paintings. It is one of his early works and we really we don't have much of them in the market," said Hugo K Wiehe, International Director Asian Art, who conducted the auction here last evening.

The landscape is set to be exhibited in the "V S Gaitonde: Painting as Process, Painting as Life," set to premier at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in October 2014 and touring till 2016.

Earlier in June this year, a recently discovered masterpiece by Gaitonde, who passed away in 2001 in New Delhi, fetched over Rs 6 crore topping the Modern and Contemporary auction by Sotheby's in London.

The 1962 work "Painting No 1" was picked up by a private collector in the US  for over USD 1 million, double of its presale estimate.

Gaitonde was awarded first prize at the Young Asian Artits' exhibition in Tokyo in 1957. In 1964 he was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation grant and spent several years in New York, where he was profoundly influenced by painters like Mark Rothko. In 1971, he was given the Padma Shri.

Meanwhile in yesterday's Christie's auction another untitled work by the Mumbai-based artist sold for over Rs 98 lakh (USD 157, 200) far exceeding its reserve price of Rs 8 lakh.

An untitled work by Bhupen Khakkar also fetched a world record for the artist when it was picked up by an Indian institution for over Rs 4.8 crore (USD 771,600). Manjit Bawa's Untitled (Gaja Lakshmi) went for Rs 3.8 crore exceeding its reserve price of Rs 2 crore to a Asian private collector, Christie's said.

Artist Ganesh Pyne who passed away this year created a world record price for himself when his untitled artwork was picked up for over Rs 2.3 crore (USD368,400) by a private collector.