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Home / Mumbai News / Sotheby’s second live auction: Rare Gaitonde work from 1974 in spotlight

Sotheby’s second live auction: Rare Gaitonde work from 1974 in spotlight

The never-before-seen work is is estimated to sell for more than Rs 21 crores.

mumbai Updated: Sep 23, 2019, 13:17 IST
Natasha Rego
Natasha Rego
Hindustan Times

The late artist VS Gaitonde, whose works have been headlining south Asian art auctions recently, will also be leading Sotheby’s second live auction in India. The auction will also include modern and contemporary south Asian art, photography and film posters.

  • WHAT: Sotheby’s Boundless: India auction
  • Where: Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Colaba
  • When: November 15 (Exhibition will be open to public on November 14)

One untitled ‘non-objective’ work (as the artist liked to call his abstract paintings) from 1974, has been in the collection of Mumbai couple Sabira and Chotu Merchant for over four decades. It will go under the hammer at the auction in Mumbai on November 15.

The painting was purchased from gallerist and patron Kali Pundole, who supported Gaitonde from his early days as a painter. “Kali was my advisor and friend,” says Sabira merchant, former actor and etiquette coach, who started collecting works in the 1970s. “Very few people had heard of Gaitonde then, but I thought to myself, this is what I’d like to have in my living room facing me every day,” she says. It’s been hanging there ever since.

Over the last few decades, Gaitonde has become one of the most recognisable names in Indian art. His works form four of the ten most expensive Indian artworks auctioned in the last decade. An untitled work from 1970, auctioned by Christie’s in Mumbai in 2015, fetched Rs 29.3 crores, making it the highest selling work for an Indian artist.

A statement released by Sotheby’s says the work can be read within the context of the space age, which India was on the brink of entering, with the launch of the satellite, Aryabhata, in 1975. Five planet-like orbs are suspended against a large, vertical canvas that is broadly divided into horizontal swathes of gold and bronze, in strips of colour reminiscent of a horizon.

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