Indian Abstract Master Gaitonde’s Untitled to Lead Christie’s South Asian Modern + Contemporary

South Asia's Modern Art has gained popularity over the decades. Such rising recognition is also shown in Christie’s coming sale of South Asian Modern + Contemporary, which will be led by a painting carrying an estimate of US$2.8m-3.5m.

The leading lot, Untitled, was created by Indian painter Vasudeo S. Gaitonde (1924-2001). Gaitonde is regarded as one of the most important figures in Indian art and was awarded the Padma Shri (one of the India’s highest civilian honours) by the Government of India in 1972. Though revered as India’s foremost abstract artist, Gaitonde insisted there was no such thing as abstract art and described his work as “non-objective”.

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.

Untitled at the auction in 2015 (left) and Untitled at the present auction (right).

Both canvases are painted in Gaitonde’s signature design of personalized hieroglyphics and calligraphic inventions, which can be traced to his lifelong interest in Zen Buddhism and ancient calligraphy.


Vasudeo S. Gaitonde's Untitled. 1924-2001.

Auction house: Christie’s New York
Sale: South Asian Modern + Contemporary
Sale no.: 14485
No. of lots: 75
2017/9/8 - 9|10am - 5pm
2017/9/10|1pm - 5pm
2017/9/11 - 12|10am - 5pm
Auction: 2017/9/13|10am
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