Indias foremost abstract artist VS Gaitonde was the highlight of Christies South Asian Modern and Contemporary art sale on Tuesday in London. One of his pivotal untitled works was sold for £6,25,875 (Rs 5.6 crore) to a private collector in UK. It is the largest canvas by Gaitonde at an auction that dates back to the 1960s. The painting travels to New Yorks Guggenheim Museum next year for a retrospective of the artist. The second highest grosser of the auction was again one of Gaitondes works,which fetched £5,29,875 (Rs 4.8 crore).
What surprised many was that a never-seen-before painting by M F Husain titled Ganga Jamuna from the Mahabharata series,which experts had estimated would sell for $1.6 million,remained unsold. Christies sale included 19 of the artists other work and coincided with Husains birth centenary year. Meanwhile,F N Souzas Red Houses among his seven paintings raised nearly £6,00,000 (Rs 5.4 crore). S H Razas street scenes and Rajasthani paintings sold for over £4,00,000 (Rs 3.6 crore).
Gaitonde was the topper of Modern and Contemporary sale by Sothebys on the same day when his work,Painting No. 1,of 1962 was sold to a private collector in the US for £6,98,500 (Rs 6.3 crore),which is double its pre-sale estimate.
Husains oil on canvas Jhoola,which was acquired during the 1960s from the artist himself,sold for £2,42,500 (Rs 2.2 crore) while Untitled (three women with sitar) received £1,88,500 (Rs 1.7 crore).
Yamini Mehta,Sothebys International Head of Indian and South Asian Art,said,We were thrilled,but not altogether surprised that Gaitondes exquisitely subtle and incandescent Painting No. 1 was the pick of the weeks sales in London.