V S Gaitonde, the young artist would spend hours and hours gazing at the sea outside his studio at the Bhulabhai Desai Memorial Institute in the then Bombay. Each time he stared at it, he would get a different picture and there is no surprise that most of his works are shades of blues.
Inspired by Zen philosophy and spiritual teaching in the early 1960s, his figurative works took more meditative leanings and this is also when the artist arguably painted some of his last few horizontal canvases, a 1961 untitled oil with layers of pigment in tones of blue.
And on this March 11, it went for Auction at the Saffronart Spring Live for Rs 39.98 crore ($5.5 million). And this has set a new record for the highest price achieved for a work of Indian art in an auction worldwide.
“The success of our Spring Live Auction, led by a masterpiece by V S Gaitonde, which achieved a world record for the artist as well as a work of Indian art sold on auction anywhere in the world sets a strong and optimistic precedent for the year ahead” said Dinesh Vazirani, CEO and Co-Founder of Saffronart, one of India’s first online art auction houses.
In 2017 at Christie’s, the world’s most expensive painting to sell at a public auction was Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, which sold for $ 450.3 million. But this auction is so special as it happens to be the first in recent years for an Indian art to cross the million dollar mark in the auction circuit.