Vasudeo S. Gaitonde (1924-2001)
- Vasudeo S. Gaitonde
- Signed and dated in Devanagari and inscribed 'V. S. GAITONDE 70' on reverse
- Oil on canvas
V. S. Gaitonde although associated with the fringes of the Progressive Artists Group was quite unlike Husain his contemporary. He was a solitary figure who shunned the limelight and rejected everything he felt irrelevant to his identity as a painter. After visiting New York in 1964 when he was exposed to American post-war art he began to use a roller and palette knife instead of paint brush and his paintings are constructed with intricate layers of color and texture. Working with an almost Zen like restraint, his minimalist compositions reflect his own quiet vision of the universe. Although his paintings are abstract the artist rejected the term, instead preferring to see his paintings as 'non objective,' a balanced relationship of color and texture. He scrupulously manipulates his medium on the canvas building up pigments to later strip them away to reveal hidden layers of the work. The process of creating his works thus reflects his own deeply analytical and introspective nature.
The artist was not concerned with representation but the painted surface itself. As he stated, ‘A painting is simply a painting - a play of light and color...Every painting is a seed which germinates in the next painting. A painting is not limited to one canvas, I go on adding elements and that’s how my work evolves...there is a kind of metamorphosis in every canvas and the metamorphosis never ends.’ (Meera Menezes, "The Meditative Brushstroke," Art India, vol. 3, issue 3, 1998, p. 69).
Dhyaneshwar Nadkarni identifies an ‘evocative power’ in Gaitonde’s paintings ‘which operates on more than one level.’ There is a sense of ‘atmosphere, there is an approximation of music and what is most important, there is a throbbing mystery about the very process of viewing and responding as if one is sucked into some still centre of hithero unknown experience.’ (D. Nadkarni, Gaitonde, Lalit Kala Akademi, 1983).