Gaitonde’s Untitled Fetched US$4m at Christie’s New York South Asian Modern + Contemporary

Christie’s New York started its “South Asian Modern + Contemporary” sale at 10 am on 13th September in New York. The overall bidding atmosphere was mild and the sale netted a total of US$9,885,625 including buyer’s premium. The highlight was definitely the leading lot, Untitled, created by Indian abstract master Vasudeo S. Gaitonde (1924-2001).

Vasudeo S. Gaitonde's Untitled

The bidding of the painting started at US$1.9m and bidders seemed prudent in making bids. They followed the bid increment of US$200,000, one after another. When it went up to $3m, a new bidder joined the bidding war and made the offer. The bidding pace slowed down after US$3.2m and the bid increment lowered to US$100,000. The painting, estimated at US$2.8m-3.5m, was hammered down at $3.4m and sold for US$4,092,500 with buyer's premium.

Gaitonde's Untitled at Christie's 2015

Gaitonde’s artworks are highly sought after at auctions. Gaitonde’s another piece of Untitled was estimated at INR 120m-150m (US$1.8m-2.3m) and sold for INR 293m (US$4.5m) with buyer’s premium at Christie’s in Mumbai in December 2015, setting a new world record for Indian art.

Tyeb Mehta's Untitled (Falling Figure)

The painting that sold for the second highest price at the sale was Tyeb Mehta (1925-2009)’s Untitled (Falling Figure), estimated at US$1.5m-2m. The bidding started at US$800,000, with a bid increment of US$50,000. It went steadily up to US$1.35m then stopped. The auctioneer asked for a higher bid but in vain. The painting was knocked down at US$1.35m, lower than its estimate of US$1.5m-2m. It was sold for US$1,632,500 including buyer’s premium.

Akbar Padamsee's Untitled (Mirror Image)

Another highlight at the sale, Akbar Padamsee’s Untitled (Mirror Image), carried an estimate of US$600,000 – 800,000. It began with a bid of US$480,000 and a bid increment of US$20,000. The bidding soon stopped at US$520,000, below the estimate. With no higher bid, the painting was passed in the end.



Vasudeo S. Gaitonde (1924-2001). Untitled.

Lot no.: 414
Created in: 1996
Size: 139.7 x 101.6cm

  • Acquired directly from the artist, 1997
  • Centre of International Modern Art (CIMA), Kolkata
  • Acquired from the above by the present owner

Estimate: US$2,800,000 - 3,500,000
Hammer price: US$3,400,000
Price realized: US$ 4,092,500


Tyeb Mehta(1925-2009). Untitled (Falling Figure).

Lot no.: 435
Created in: 1991
Size: 114.6 x 91.4 cm

  • Acquired directly from the artist
  • The Estate of Kekoo and Khorshed Gandhy: Property from the Collection of Rashna Imhasly-Gandhy and Behroze Gandhy. Christie's Mumbai, 19 December 2013, lot 10
  • Acquired from the above by the present owner

Estimate: US$1,500,000 – 2,000,000
Hammer price: US$1,350,000
Price realized: US$1,632,500


Auction details

Auction house: Christie’s New York
Sale: South Asian Modern + Contemporary
Sale no.: 14485        
No. of lots: 75
Sold: 62
Unsold: 13
Sell-through rate: 82.67%
Sale total: 9,885,625

(All prices realized have included buyer’s premium unless otherwise specified)