V S Gaitonde


Abstract artist Vasudev S. Gaitonde (V. S. Gaitonde) (1924–2001) is an eminent painter from India of a Goan origin.

Gaitonde was born in Nagpur, Maharashtra in the year 1924. He was the child of Goan parents

Education & Work

1947 saw Vasudev as an invitee at the Progressive Artists Group of Bombay. It was then led by artists of an eminent stature like Francis Newton Souza and S. H. Raza and M. F. Husain.

Subsequently, he received a diploma in art from the esteemed J. J. School of Art in the year 1948.

Vasudev was an active participant in the group ‘Progressive Artists Group of Bombay’. Later, he took part innumerous exhibitions both in India and abroad. In the year 1956, he contributed to the ‘Indian art exhibition’, in Eastern European countries. An additional protuberant participation from this artist comprises of a group exhibition at Graham Art Gallery, New York. Over here, he displayed his works of genius twice.

Gaitonde's forte was abstract art; his works in this form of artistry were displayed in many Indian and overseas collections. Even the Museum of Modern Art, New York displayed his artworks at one point of time.

Gaitonde had an intellectual outlook and his paintings glowed with uncharted ideas. His style was undoubtedly unique and his conceptualization was simply outstanding. Some of his finest works of genius assert that abstract painting can be further improvised into a "non-objective" form of art. Vasudev tried to demonstrate this by creating bespoke cartouches and calligraphic innovations. Each one of these works evoked some of the most breathtaking acumen.

Thereafter his paintings radiated with a meditative ‘Zen ‘angle that emoted tranquility. Thus his works began to epitomize perpetual and evocative insight with a mysterious vantage point; the usage of motifs and personalized hieroglyphs established the same. This further exhibited that he loved the Zen philosophy as well as ancient calligraphy.

Towards the end of his career, Gaitonde had settled in the Nizamuddin East area of Delhi, and used to work out of his home. He breathed his last in the year 2001, and this came as a huge loss for the Indian art society.

Awards and Accolades

Early in his career, Vasudev won the 1950 Bombay Art Society in the city of Mumbai. He was also felicitated with the first prize at the Young Asian Artists Exhibition, Tokyo. Thereafter, he bagged the Rockefeller Fellowship in 1964.

Gaitonde had also been conferred with the victor’s badge at a National Exhibition conducted in Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi. He was then honored by the Indian Government with the respected Padma Shri Award in the year 1971. In 1974, he bagged the winner’s prize at the Prix National, Festival International de la Peinture, Cagness-Sur- Mer, France.

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