Vasudeo S. Gaitonde

V.S. Gaitonde was born in Nagpur, Maharashtra, India (1924-2001). He lived and worked in New Delhi. Though widely considered one of India’s foremost abstractionists, Gaitonde was always quick to dismiss the title, referring to his work as “non-objective” and affirming “there is no such thing as abstract art”. Gaitonde experimented with form and shape by creating large gradated surfaces with meticulously applied pigments, from which he would thereafter painstakingly remove areas with a palette knife. Given the laborious nature of his technique, he produced an extremely limited number of finished works. Influenced by ancient calligraphy and Zen philosophy, Gaitonde’s work has been recognized for its skill of being able to transform generic elements into ethereal platforms for spiritual introspection. In 1971, the Government of India awarded him with the Padma Shri, one of the highest civilian honours.